Interesting stories about the Duomo in Milan

These stories and legends add an aura of mystery and fascination to the history of the Duomo

The Duomo in Milan, with its rich history and architectural significance, has inspired numerous stories and legends over the centuries. Here are a few interesting tales associated with the Milan Cathedral:

  1. Legend of the Missing Nail: According to popular folklore, a nail was believed to be missing from the construction of the cathedral, leaving the project incomplete. It was prophesied that the city would face disaster until the nail was found. Eventually, a blacksmith named Berta discovered the missing nail in the hoof of her horse. The nail was promptly brought to the cathedral, and the city's prosperity was said to be restored.

  2. The Competition for the Main Spire: During the construction of the Duomo, a competition was held to determine who would have the honor of designing and constructing the main spire. The competition attracted talented architects and artists from far and wide. Ultimately, it was won by Filippo Brunelleschi, who later went on to design the famous dome of the Florence Cathedral.

  3. The "Madonnina" Statue: One of the most famous features of the Duomo is the golden statue of the Virgin Mary perched atop the main spire. Known as the "Madonnina," the statue has become an iconic symbol of Milan. It is said that in times of war or danger, the Madonnina is responsible for protecting the city and its inhabitants.

  4. The Hidden Nail: Within the cathedral, there is a small hole in the floor near the main entrance. Legend has it that a nail is buried beneath it. It is said that stepping on the hole brings good luck, and visitors often search for it to ensure a prosperous future.

  5. The Duomo's Architectural Secrets: The Milan Cathedral is said to contain several architectural secrets and hidden symbols within its design. For example, some believe that the statues adorning the exterior walls are positioned in a way that they appear to be interacting with each other when observed from specific angles.

These stories and legends add an aura of mystery and fascination to the history of the Duomo in Milan, making it more than just an architectural masterpiece, but also a source of intrigue and wonder for visitors and locals alike.

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