The fundraising campaign “Get Your Spire. Carve your name in history”, which supports the restoration of the Duomo and its 135 spires, is six years old. Much has been done thanks to the generosity and affection of the many Donors who have chosen to be part of “Get Your Spire” since 2012, in the name of the Duomo.
Restoration work is continual and gives new splendour and life to the deteriorated marble. This is why the Veneranda Fabbrica is renewing its appeal to citizens so that they continue donating, with a grand sense of responsibility and solidarity, to ensure that this extraordinary artistic heritage site, the monumental symbol of Milan, can enchant generations to come.
In order to celebrate together the many goals reached and to thank the numerous devoted Donors, the Veneranda Fabbrica is offering an autumn rich in specially dedicated initiatives!
GET YOUR SPIRE AND DISCOVER THE ARCHIVE
Donors of the project are invited to a new event entitles “Get Your Spire and Discover the Archive”, which offers the possibility of participating for free in the guided tours planned for the following dates:
- MONDAY 12/11, 3 PM
- SATURDAY 1/12, 11 AM
The history of the Duomo is awaiting you!
Participation in the tours is available to donors of €100 or more.
RESTORATION WORK UNDER WAY
Having finished the restoration of the Vandoni Spire, it was then the turn of the Amadeo Spire, situated on the northeast corner of the Lantern and built in the first years of the 16th century, it was subject to an important restoration conducted under the attentive management of the engineer Carlo Ferrari da Passano between 1965 and 1956. The work would continue until the end of the year.
Renovation work is also continuing on the South side which is one of the parts of the Duomo most exposed to the elements. Many of the flying buttresses are complete and, in fact, on the side that faces Palazzo Reale, refurbishment and cleaning work is being carried out on the walls closest to the Duomo’s main façade. Work has most likely not been done on this section of architecture since the end of the 19th century.
Another place exposed to weathering and requiring careful refurbishment is the Central Rooftop of the Duomo; a place visited by thousands of people every day and theatre to one of the most entrancing views over the city of Milan. The Rooftop needs to be completely weatherproofed, with the lifting up and partial remaking of the floor of the first three western passages and the addition of a protective system below these. The considerable work of these passages, already started some years ago, will finish with the definitive exclusion of risk of leakage inside the Cathedral. Included in this process is the extensive restoration of the cover stones, by securing the pathways to be reopened gradually as the restoration progresses.
The weatherproofing of the roofs is becoming ever more painstaking work even on the inclined slopes of the large octagon that supports the spire of the Madonnina: the Lower Lantern.
The Lantern also contains the mystery of the four arches that Andrea Solari conceived in order to resolve the structural problem that had occupied even Bramante, Filarete and Leonardo da Vinci. This work in progress is undoubtedly the most audacious of those planned; absolutely necessary to complete the arduous restoration of the entire Main Spire, begun in 2008 and finished last year.
This will be the first systematic restoration conducted on the Lantern in a century. It is the site of the Lantern that occupies the majority of time for the Duomo’s workers, both inside and out. If, on the outside, the work is proceeding as normal on the structural intervention of the marble components, a new adventurous work of engineering has been implemented in order to carry out the internal restoration. As a matter of fact, last autumn, some of the most complex scaffolding ever used by the Duomo was erected inside the dome that overlooks the High Altar; a platform that allows practicability and “visitabilty” of the internal walls of the Lantern was placed by the four main arches.
This platform “hooks” itself onto the Lantern’s external scaffolding and does not damage the internal structure of the cathedral. It does not touch the ground, but it allows the team of restorers to study, map and clean the parts in Candoglia marble, the stained glass windows and the plastered vaults.
The G38 spire, Santo del Levante or Saint of the East (G16 according to the number system at the Duomo Worksite), was disassembled a few years ago, ready to be reassembled at the end of last summer. It is now being reconstructed by the workers at the Duomo Worksite.
Another refurbishment planned for the autumn is the beginning of the restoration of the two Sacristries of the Duomo; spaces used on a daily basis with a rich long-running history that are in need of improvement to the premises and furnishings so as to be more liveable, but above all to the vestments that decorate the vaults which are amongst the oldest in the Duomo.
The profile of the Duomo is characterised by 135 spires. The spire is a typical element of gothic architecture which came about for static reasons, initially modest in height, not so high-reaching, compact, and robust. Towards the end of the 12th century they little by little started reaching for the skies, sharper in form and more intricate in decoration. In the Duomo, it is not only on the buttresses on the perimeter where these spires have been erected but also on the pillars and on the lantern, where four small spires place themselves like a crown around the Guglia Maggiore or Main Spire, the one on whose top is placed the Madonnina.
The majority of the spires are 17 metres tall and are rich in ornamentation, sculptures, recesses and buttresses.
FOR INFORMATION AND BOOKING
Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo di Milano
Via Carlo Maria Martini, 1 – Milano
Public opening times: Monday-Friday: 9.30 am - 12.30 pm / 2.30 pm - 6.00 pm
Freephone number: +39 800 528 477
Fax: +39 02 72022419