Duomo of Monza

The Duomo and its square were the centre of the religious and political life in Monza: the ancient town developed around its primary core, probably the “oraculum” founded by the Queen Teodolinda in the 6th century. Starting from 1300, the basilica layout was extended with side chapels and the solemn false front, inspired by Gothic style, based on a design of Matteo da Campione. The chromatism of the marble with white and green stripes, the rose window, the mullioned windows, the Lombard bands, the aediculae and the spires, exhibit the power and dignity of the Church in Monza. Artists such as Arcimboldo, Legnanino, Borroni and Carloni  embellished the basilica in the following centuries. Pellegrino Tibaldi rebuilt the choir, laid upon a large crypt, while the colossal bell-tower, built starting from 1592, is due to the collaboration with Ercole Turati. To the left of the main altar is the Chapel of Teodolinda, whose mural paintings by the Zavattari, a masterpiece of international Gothic style of the mid15th century, represent devotion and a tribute to the Queen. The Chapel houses the Iron Crown, considered over the centuries as a symbol, a legend and one of the most important and meaningful goldsmiths’ works of the Christian history. Indeed, an ancient tradition wants the ring inside the crown to be obtained from one of the nails used for Jesus’ crucifixion. There were many coronations of kings and emperors with the Iron Crown, including Charlemagne and Napoleon.