The Church of San Maurizio
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The Church of San Maurizio al Monastero Maggiore is an extraordinary example of Renaissance harmony and beauty. Located on Corso Magenta, an ancient Roman artery connecting Milan to the north western borders of the Roman Western Empire.
The earlier church was presumably built in the late IX century, during the Carolingian era, and subsequently reconstructed in various phases. Today’s building dates back to the 1500’s and involved a significant reworking of the original structure and the intervention of artists and craftsmen of the highest calibre. Lombardy artists and followers of Leonardo da Vinci, namely his best pupil, Bernardino Luini, turned this church into a real jewel box, bedecked in gold and blue and lively colours.
The simplicity of the Church’s façade might put off a distracted visitor who may easily walk past the entrance attracted more by the pretty shops selling antiques, prints or expensive clothing. But right next to Milan’s Archaeological Museum a few steps lead up to the church’s interior that comes as a shock if you are unprepared to catch in one single glance a kaleidoscope of colours and of lively characters
Although the first feeling is that the rectangular shaped church is very tiny after a careful look you realise that great part of it is hidden behind a tall screen wall, a sort of Byzantine iconostasis of holy images you will revel in front of mesmerized by their beauty.
Alessandro Bentivoglio and his spouse Ippolita Sforza, sumptuously clad in their richly embroidered garments, welcome you to this precious former convent church they so generously funded. Let your guide unravel the story of their lives, reveal the courtly grandeur they enjoyed, disclose the tragic secrets and the inner turmoil witnessed by these beautiful frescoed walls.