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Milan Cathedral shines bright in world premiere

Stained-glass windows illuminated from the inside

09 December, 18:08
Milan Cathedral shines bright in world premiere (by Romina Spina).

(ANSA) - Rome, December 9 - Milan's Duomo Cathedral, widely considered the most important work of Gothic architecture in Italy, this week has become the world's first cathedral to have its stained glass windows illuminated from the inside. The permanent light installation on the interior of the famed basilica, one of the world's largest Catholic cathedrals, was switched on for the first time in a ceremony on December 8 to mark the feast of the Immaculate Conception. As part of the annual art project Light Exhibition Design (LED), Mayor Letizia Moratti on Wednesday was joined by thousands of citizens in Milan's main square, Piazza del Duomo, to celebrate the cathedral's newly installed lights. Over the Christmas period, sixty-eight low-energy light bulbs will illuminate the cathedral's windows. From January 10 onwards, Moratti announced that the lights will be switched on on Saturdays, Sundays and on religious holidays. The Duomo's ambulatory windows are illuminated through lights hooked at a height of 16 metres in the cathedral's lateral naves, on top of tie rods that connect the pillars. Built in white Candoglia marble over several hundred years in a feast of contrasting architectural styles, the Gothic cathedral occupies Milan's most central site and stands as the city's symbol. The place where the Duomo was erected had been a sacred spot, dedicated to 4th-century Milan bishop Saint Ambrose, one of the Doctors of the Church.

"To have an illuminated cathedral has many different meanings. It has a spiritual meaning, it is vital energy, divine spirit, a symbol for transparency and reception", Moratti said. "This project was conceived to enhance the stained glass windows of our city's most renowned landmark through light." The art project LED each year features works by national and international art students and designers. It aims to transform Italy's style capital with lights through installations, furniture and works of contemporary art and design for the festive season. The LED runs until January 10.