Hidden Gems: Discovering the Milan Cathedral Crypts and Treasures

Let’s explore beneath the Milan Cathedral to discover hidden wonders—the Milan Cathedral Crypts. 

Delve into the enchanting circular space crafted in the 1500s, a secret chamber reminiscent of a jewel box. 

Supported by majestic marble columns and adorned with swirling decorations, these crypts unfold stories frozen in time. 

Illuminated by soft frescoes, the sacred space holds a golden box safeguarding a nail tied to the crucifixion of Jesus. 

Read ahead to uncover the secrets concealed beneath the grandeur of Milan’s iconic Duomo.

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What Are The Duomo di Milano Crypts

The Milan Cathedral Crypts, a hidden marvel beneath the iconic Duomo, was designed in the 1500s by Pellegrino Pellegrini, Saint Charles’s preferred artist. 

The crypts were meticulously constructed to house sacred relics and serve as a place of profound spiritual significance. 

Soft illumination emanates from frescoes adorning the walls, narrating biblical tales and reflecting the profound faith that shaped the cathedral. 

At the heart of this cryptic realm lies a sacred treasure – a golden box safeguarding a nail believed to have played a role in Jesus Christ’s crucifixion. 

This revered relic attracts pilgrims globally, serving as a tangible connection to themes of sacrifice and hope. 

Jemale Chapel

Imagine stepping into a hidden and special place beneath the grand Duomo. This round room was built in the 1500s and feels like a fancy box of jewels.

There are eight tall columns made of colorful marble that reach up to hold a rounded ceiling. 

You’ll see beautiful decorations and angelic figures frozen in time. 

The room is lit softly by paintings on the walls, telling stories from the Bible and reminding you of the faith that created this place.

Right in the middle, there’s a special treasure: a golden box holding a nail believed to have been used in the crucifixion of Jesus. 

People worldwide come to see this holy object, which serves as a powerful reminder of sacrifice and hope.

Chapel of Saint Charles Borromeo

Walk through the quiet arch and find a peaceful place. 

Here lies Saint Charles Borromeo, an important archbishop of Milan, in a beautiful marble tomb with gold decorations. 

This chapel used to be his private space, but now it’s open to anyone seeking a calm spot for thinking and praying. 

Enjoy the calmness, take in the soothing scent of incense, and let the spirit of Saint Charles help you have a peaceful moment of reflection.

Via Dolorosa

Step into the quiet Crypts and encounter the mesmerizing Via Dolorosa, a video installation by British artist Mark Wallinger. 

On the ancient walls, scenes from the Passion of Christ come to life in a unique way, filled with intense emotion and a modern perspective.

Experience Jesus’s journey to Calvary in a gritty black-and-white film, unlike the usual religious images. 

The result is powerful and compelling, prompting you to reflect on enduring themes like suffering, sacrifice, and the human condition through a contemporary lens.

Via Dolorosa is more than just a visual display; it sparks a conversation between the past and the present, faith and uncertainty. 

As you explore the Crypts, the projected figures seem to move with you, reflecting the weight of history. 

It serves as a poignant reminder that the struggles depicted here, though from centuries ago, still deeply connect with today’s human experience.

How To Visit the Milan Cathedral Crypts

The Duomo di Milano houses crypts beneath its marble floors! To see these, you need to visit the Cathedral itself. 

The best way to visit the Milan Cathedral Crypts is by booking your tickets online. This saves you time, and you can also grab ticket discounts!

Also, note that the crypts’ opening hours differ from the cathedral’s, so plan your visit accordingly!

Opening Hours

The Milan Cathedral crypts are open from 11 am to 5.30 pm, Monday to Friday. The timings on the weekends vary. 

On Saturdays, the crypts are open from 11 am to 5 pm, and on Sundays from 1.30 to 3.30 pm. 

Days Opening hours
Monday to Friday11 am to 5.30 pm
Saturday11 am to 5 pm
Sunday1.30 to 3.30 pm

Milan Cathedral Crypt Tickets

Skip the line and snag tickets in advance online! With these tickets in hand you will be guided by a licensed guide. 

Learn everything about the crypts and the cathedral with this guided tour! 

Ticket includes: 

  • Entry to the Milan Cathedral 
  • Access to the Milan Cathedral Crypts
  • Guided tour

Ticket prices:

Adult ticket (11+ years)€38
Child ticket (6 to 10 years)€32
Infant ticket (up to 5 years)Free

For all visitors planning to visit Duomo di Milano, here are some essential information to plan your trip: 

FAQs About Milan Cathedral Crypts

1. What are the timings of the crypts in Milan Cathedral?

The Milan Cathedral crypts are available for visitors on weekdays from 11 am to 5.30 pm. 

However, the weekend hours are different. On Saturdays, you can visit from 11 am to 5 pm; on Sundays, the crypts are open from 1.30 to 3.30 pm.

2. Who is the architect of the Milan Cathedral crypt?

Pellegrino Pellegrini, the preferred artist of Saint Charles Borromeo, designed the Milan Cathedral Crypts.

3. Where are the crypts located within Duomo di Milano?

The crypts, also known as the St. Charles’s Crypt, are beneath the Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral). 

4. What will I find in the Duomo di Milano’s crypts?

In the Duomo di Milano’s crypts, you will discover the St. Charles’s Crypt, a burial place for archbishops of Milan. 

The crypts hold tombs and sarcophagi, including the prominent Monument to Gian Giacomo Medici. 

Visitors can explore this historic space beneath the cathedral, rich in religious and architectural significance.

5. Are there any famous tombs or relics in the crypts?

Yes, the crypts of Duomo di Milano house are notable tombs and relics. 

One prominent feature is the Monument to Gian Giacomo Medici, a renowned 16th-century sculptural masterpiece. 

This crypt serves as a repository for the remains of various archbishops, contributing to the historical and cultural significance of the Milan Cathedral.

6. Can I visit the crypts independently or need a guided tour?

You can visit the crypts independently without a guided tour. 

The St. Charles’s Crypt in Duomo di Milano is open to visitors, allowing you to explore the historical burial place of archbishops at your own pace. 

However, guided tours are available for those who prefer a more detailed and informative experience.

7. Can I see the treasures of Duomo di Milano in the crypts?

No, the treasures of Duomo di Milano are not located in the crypts. 

The cathedral’s treasures, including artwork and artifacts, are usually housed in the Cathedral Museum. 

The crypts primarily contain tombs and burial places for archbishops, offering a different aspect of the cathedral’s historical significance.

8. Are the crypts accessible for visitors with mobility challenges?

The accessibility of the crypts in Duomo di Milano for visitors with mobility challenges may be limited. 

The stairs leading down to the crypt are quite narrow, making it difficult for people with mobility challenges to go down. 

9. Can I find information about the cathedral’s crypts and treasures in Duomo di Milano?

Yes, information about the crypts and treasures of Duomo di Milano can be obtained from the cathedral’s official website, guidebooks, or by inquiring at the cathedral itself. 

The website or visitor center provides details on opening hours, admission fees, and any guided tours available, offering a comprehensive guide for visitors.

10. What is in the crypt of the Duomo in Milan?

The crypt of the Duomo in Milan, also known as the St. Charles’s Crypt, houses the tombs of various archbishops of Milan. 

Notable features include the Monument to Gian Giacomo Medici, a significant sculptural work. 

It is a historical burial site beneath the cathedral, reflecting religious and cultural significance

The Best Duomo di Milano Tickets

Cathedral and Rooftop tickets: This ticket offers access to the Milan Cathedral and the Cathedral Rooftop area. 

Milan Cathedral Rooftop ticket: If you wish to enjoy Milan’s vistas, then get this rooftop access ticket (without the church) to enjoy terrace entry. 

Duomo di Milano guided tour: Take a tour of Milan Cathedral, Duomo Museum and archeological sites with a local expert guide. 

Private Duomo di Milano tour: Skip the crowds and take a private tour of the Duomo di Milano, its Rooftop, Museum and Archeological sites.

Duomo Di Milano Combo tour: Visit the Milan Cathedral and another Milan attraction at a discounted price with just one ticket. 

Last-minute Duomo di Milano tickets: Get your Milan Cathedral tickets last minute if you have missed your pre-booking. This ticket offers last-minute entry to the cathedral, Museum and rooftop. 

Milan City Pass: Get entry to the Duomo di Milano, Rooftops, Duomo Museum, Leonardo Da Vinci Museum, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and Milan City Audio Guide at discounted prices. 

Featured Image: Duomomilano.it

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