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MILAN - a Town of Art and Fashion

According to the Roman historian Tito Livio the Celts founded Milan. His name was originally “Mediolanum”. After the conquest by the Romans in 222 BC and they ruled for over two hundred years, the city had a significant development, and it became the residence of the emperors in the fourth century AD Western Destroyed by Attila and his Huns around 450 AD, occupied by the Visigoths in 539, Milan began to develop only around the eighth century. It was ruled by several archbishops through which gained its independence. But in 1162 Milan was destroyed by the troops of Emperor Frederick the First and only in 1176 the city had the strength enough to win, with the Lombard League against the army of Frederick at First bind. After this difficult period followed a new period of prosperity. In 1277, the Visconti took over the government of the city and kept it until 1447. The reign of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the first Duke of Milan (1351-1402) marked an era of high prosperity for the city. In 1450, the Italian soldier Francesco Sforza came to power and kept it until 1500 when France conquered the city. The Sforza opposed to the invading French, Swiss, Austrian around 1535 but succumbed to the invasion of the Spaniards. The latter ruled the city until 1713 when Milan was ceded to Austria. Conquered by Napoleon in 1796, Milan became the capital of the Cisalpine Republic. But the city was returned to Austria in 1815. Milan remained under his rule until 1859 when, with the help of the French, was liberated from the Italian patriots in 1861 and became part of the Kingdom of Italy. Since then Milan resumed its great economic and trade expansion that continues today.

THE CATHEDRAL (IL DUOMO)

Milan Cathedral is located on the square next to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. At the highest point in the year, 1774, was built to protect the citizenship of the famous Madonnina, a gilded statue 4 meters high, which has become one of the symbols of the us The building was started in 1386 by the Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo and of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, lord of the city at the time.

It was built in the area previously occupied by the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore. Its development was very slow and understood a long time span six centuries, remaining faithful to the original principles of Gothic art.

In 1418 the main altar was consecrated by Pope Martin V. The construction work continued under the direction of various architects, including Leonardo da Vinci, and in 1572 San Carlo reconsecrated the Cathedral.

In our day, the cathedral of Milan has had to undergo numerous restoration works, the first in 1935 and the second, much more difficult, following the bombing of 1943. During the last renovation, the floor was renovated, were replaced with statues and decorative elements more 'ruined by the war.

Finally, on 8 December 1966, inaugurated the new churchyard and placed the last door in bronze to the inputs of the facade. Built entirely of marble, boasts of well 3400 statues that adorn making it so unique symbol of “Gothic flourished.”

Its imposing structure makes it one of the largest religious buildings in Europe. It is currently composed of five naves, is 158 meters long, 93 wide and reaches a maximum height of 108 meters. From its terraces you can admire the panorama below.

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SFORZESCO CASTLE (CASTELLO SFORZESCO)

Sforzesco Castle and the Duomo are the most imposing monument of Milan. The Castle that we admire today is the result of many interventions, from the fourteenth century to the present day: founded by Galeazzo II Visconti, the castle was rebuilt by Francesco Sforza in 1450, which gave the visionary Florentine architect Antonio Averlino called Filarete the task of creating the spectacular clock tower. Ludovico il Moro, who was then called to his court great artists to decorate the castle, including Donato Bramante and Leonardo da Vinci, who introduced himself as an engineer in military and civilian, and only secondarily as a sculptor and painter. The most famous creation of Leonardo at the Castle is the great fresco on the ceiling of the hall “of the Axis”.

The inhabitants are related to the Castello Sforzesco by a feeling of love and hate because of the turbulent vicissitudes that have made him so famous. For centuries the Castello Sfrozesco was the protagonist of painful events and for the Inhabitants unbearable became the emblem of the repressive power practiced by the Lords of Milan or foreign conquerors. Finally, in the twentieth century the castle changed its appearance and took on the appearance of a comforting place of culture, used to protect numerous Lombard art. The name of the castle refers to the Italian commander and Duke of Milan, Francesco Sforza, who in 1450 wanted to rebuild the entire structure.

Currently, the Castello Sforzesco is rich in museums: the ground floor of the Ducal Court is the Museum of Ancient Art, the first floor of the collection of furniture and art gallery on the first and second floor of the Rocchetta there are collections of Art applied and the Museum of Musical Instruments, in the basement of the Ducal Court are the Museum of Prehistory and Early History and the Egyptian Museum.

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THE LAST SUPPER ( IL CENACOLO) OF LEONARDO DA VINCI

The Last Supper is a wall painting in tempera on plaster (460 × 880 cm) by Leonardo da Vinci, realised from 1494 to 1498. Such a beauty is in Milan, stored in the former refectory of the convent near to the sanctuary called “Santa Maria delle Grazie”. Leonardo painted this astonishing masterpiece on the north wall of the hall between the year 1494 and 1498, during the Ludovico il Moro's rule. The genius Leonardo made this masterpiece “dry”, instead of using the fresco technique, usually used for wall paintings. Unfortunately, in the course of time, particularly due to the environmental conditions and historical events, the masterpiece has undergone progressive deterioration. There have been numerous restoration works on the Last Supper. The last more important one was performed on year 1999 has returned to its original colours painted and removed his previous statements of paint. To avoid that the painting can still be damaged, is kept under special environmental conditions, determined by the treatment, and can be visited only by groups of up to 25 visitors at a time, every fifteen minutes.

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Also called “the drawing room of Milan”, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a cross-shaped and consists of a covered public passage that connects Piazza della Scala and Piazza Duomo, with two perpendicular streets. It was built between 1864 and 1878 by the Bolognese architect Giuseppe Mengoni, in eclectic style, typical of the second half of Milan, with grotesques, caryatids, moons and pilasters. Overall, the gallery in north-south direction measuring 196 meters in length, while in east-west direction measuring 105.5 meters, with a width of 14.50 meters and a height of 21 meters, with a maximum of 47 meters to the summit the central dome where the arms cross each other in an octagon of iron and glass. The flooring was renewed in the sixties of the last century. In the floor, at the center of the Octagon, a mosaic is made the symbol of the Savoy. On the sides there are four coats of arms of the city: Turin, Rome, Florence and Milan. In turn, depicts the continents Africa, Asia, Europe and America. In the gallery are located several charming shops, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bookstores. which draw citizens and tourists. With Via Montenapoleone and Via della Spiga, the Gallery is considered one of the sites of Milanese luxury shopping. Lately the Octagon is used by the administrators of the City to illustrate to visitors or locals changes or events affecting the city.

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