A treasure trove of Romanesque architecture
The Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio is one of the oldest churches in Milan, and one of the most iconic monuments in the city, and in the whole of Christianity. Located in the square of the same name, it is a fantastic example of medieval Romanesque architecture of great artistic, historical and religious value. It was here that Saint Augustine converted to Christianity, meeting Bishop Ambrose, founder of the basilica dedicated to him.
In front of the church is a large, four-sided portico, overlooked by the gabled façade, with two levels of arcades, and the two bell towers, the Monks’ Tower and the Canons’ Tower. Under the arcade is the treasure of Saint Ambrose, including precious metalwork, textiles, tapestries, marble, stucco, mosaics, wooden fragments and paintings. Don’t miss the “Devil’s Column”, which owes its name to the legend that tells how the devil, during a fight with Saint Ambrose, drove his horns into the column, which still today shows two holes side by side.
Inside the church, down the left aisle, the first chapel hosts Resurrection, a valuable fresco by Bergognone. In the lower apse, you can view the crypt, home to the bodies of Saints Ambrose, Gervasius and Protasius.
The basilica is accessible to disabled guests and hosts visits by groups and school classes if conducted by private guides. There is also a small museum and a bookshop.