Milan Cathedral is a church, symbol of Milan and one of the symbols of Italy, dedicated to Santa Maria Nascente, located in the square, in the center of the metropolis. For area is the third largest Catholic Church in the world after St. Peter's in the Vatican and the Cathedral of Seville. Is the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Milan and is the seat of the parish of Santa Tecla in the Duomo of Milan.
The Quadroni of St. Charles
In November, a period dedicated to san Carlo Borromeo, (celebrated 4 November) in the Cathedral are the so-called "Quadroni of St. Charles", a series of fifty-six large canvasses celebrating the life and miracles of the patron saint of Milan. Made during the seventeenth century, constitute the most important Lombard Baroque pictorial cycle.
Near the entrance to the Cathedral is the symbol of Capricorn Meridian, consists of a brass Strip embedded into the floor crossing the aisle and dating back to three metres on the left wall (to the North). On the wall facing South, at a height of nearly 24 meters above the floor, is a hole through which the solar midday, a ray of light is projected on the floor. To avoid that on certain days of the year the entrance hole to light shade, on the South side of the Church lacks the Marble Arch. The sides of the metal line are installed marble slabs that show the signs of the zodiac with the dates of the entrance of the Sun.
The instrument was built in 1786 by astronomers of Brera, restored several times and changed in 1827 following the Remaking of the floor of the Cathedral.
Il Sacro Chiodo
Suspended above the altar, attached to the keystone, is the most precious relic of the true cross nail (nail), which according to tradition was discovered by Saint Helena and used as horse bite of Constantine I.
The sacred nail is now preserved in a niche that is contained in a copy of Sai in gilded copper with relief of God (now in the Museo del Duomo). Although suspended very high, a red light makes visible from the Cathedral. The nail is removed by the Archbishop and shown to the faithful every May 3, feast of the invention of the Holy Cross "(i.e., the finding of the cross), now is carried in procession on September 14, the feast of the exaltation of the Holy Cross. To remove the nail from his enclosure is used the nivola, a curious elevator now mechanized, from which it takes its name from the celebration of the rite of Nivola. Of the four nails of the true cross, the other two are, according to tradition, in the Corona ferrea-Monza and the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome. The fourth nail would have held the inscription "INRI", more doubtful tradition, would lie in the Cathedral of Colle Val d'Elsa near Siena.
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