Vigevano, the Cathedral

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  1. 1.
  2. 2. Vigevano (Avgevan in the local variety of Western Lombard) is a town and comune in the province of Pavia, which possesses many artistic treasures, particularly well known for its beautiful Renaissance "Piazza Ducale", in the centre of the town.
  3. 3. The town of Vigevano, situated south-west of Milan across the River Ticino, is commanded by the fortress developed by successive Milanese rulers. It was the birthplace in 1451 of Ludovico Maria Sforza, also known as il Moro, the Regent and Duke of Milan who developed the new piazza in a single campaign between 1492 and 1494. As it survives today, Piazza Ducale is very different from Bramantes original scheme, although it is still largely defined by the arcades he introduced.
  4. 4. The baroque faade of the cathedral was erected, thus enclosing the fourth side of the square. This faade is curved and aligned with the axis of the piazza, hiding the fact that the church building behind is off-centre.
  5. 5. The arcades form now a continuous range around north, west and south sides of the piazza, which measures roughly 50 by 130 metres, with the concave baroque facade of the duomo forming the fourth side. In their original condition, however, the arcades would have been broken in the south-western corner to provide an access ramp to the ducal rocca. The upper surfaces are decorated with painted antique architecture, including triumphal arches which indicate the connections to adjacent streets.
  6. 6. Piazza Ducale was actually planned to form a noble forecourt to his castle, unified by the arcades that completely surround the square, an amenity of the new North Italian towns built in the 13th century. The town's main street enters through a sham arcaded faade that preserves the unity of the space. Ludovico il Moro demolished the former palazzo of the commune of Vigevano to create
  7. 7. The cathedral which is dedicated to Saint Ambrose was designed by Antonio da Lonate. It was started in 1532 by Duke Francesco II and was not completed until 1606.
  8. 8. Duomo di Vigevano, Piazza Ducale
  9. 9. Duomo di Vigevano, Piazza Ducale
  10. 10. Duomo di Vigevano, Piazza Ducale The Latin cross interior, which has a nave and two aisles, contains some remarkable works of art. In particular, in the first altar recess on the left of the entrance there is Antonio da Lonate's wooden model of the church.
  11. 11. The cathedral is best known for the "treasury" donated to it by Francesco II Sforza in 1534 which encompasses more than 100 precious objects. These, along with other items, are on display in a museum inside the cathedral known as the Museo del Tesoro del Duomo Vigevano. Of note in the collection are several Flemish tapestries, seven of which were made by tapestry makers in Brussels in 1520 in the Late Gothic International Style
  12. 12. Museo del tesoro del Duomo di Vigevano
  13. 13. SaintAmbrose Museo del tesoro del duomo di Vigevano
  14. 14. Stemma del Papa, Duomo di Vigevano, Piazza Ducale
  15. 15. Saint Ambrose and the Cathedral Piazza Ducale
  16. 16. Text & pictures: Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foi oreanu Sound: Msica Gregoriana - The Cistercian Monks