The Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio is a great example of Romanesque architecture. This is one of the oldest churches in Milan and one of most historically medieval buildings in Lombardy. It was begun in 379 and 7 years later it was consecrated by St. Ambrose, who was probably bishop of Milan from 374 to his dead in 397, when he was buried beside the bodies of St. Gervase and St. Protasius inside the Church. In 739 the monastery of the Benedictine Monks was built next to the church and in the 9th century the simple right bell-tower, known as the bell-tower of the monks, was built St.ambrose’s icon It was finished in 1889 with the completion of the three-arched loggia. At the end of the 15th century, Cardinal Ascanio Sforza gave the task of constructing the cloisters and the portico of the rectory to Bramante. In the following centuries, other changes were made, but in 1857 the archduke Maximilian of Austria ordered that the baroque additions to the church have to be removed.
Inside the Basilica you can find the crypt with the remains of the saint and the gorgeous “Treasure of Sant’Ambrogio”, which contains paintings, mosaics, tapestries, marble, clothes and other precious objects.
The original carved wooden door with scenes from the Life of David and Saul date from the 4th and 7th centuries; the fragments are kept in the museum of Sant’Ambrogio. The apse is decorated with a mosaic representing a blessing Christ; the ciborium has great Roman columns and a golden altar made by Volvino.
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