Monza - Main Sights

Main Sights

In the course of its history Monza withstood thirty-two sieges, but the Porta d'Agrate is all that remains of its original walls and fortifications. Nearby is the nunnery in which the nun of Monza was enclosed in Manzoni's I Promessi Sposi.

Monza is famous for its Romanesque-Gothic Duomo of Saint John. There Theodelinda's centrally-planned Greek-cross oraculum ("chapel of prayer") from c. 595 (its foundations remaining under the crossing of nave and transept) was enlarged at the close of the 13th century by enclosing the former atrium within the building. The fine black and-white marble arcaded façade was erected in the mid-14th century by Matteo da Campione. The campanile was erected in 1606 to designs by Pellegrino Tibaldi. In the frescoed Chapel of Theodelinda is the Iron Crown of Lombardy, supposed to contain one of the nails used at the Crucifixion. The treasury also contains the crown, fan and gold comb of Theodelinda, and, as well as Gothic crosses and reliquaries, a golden hen and seven chickens, representing Lombardy and her seven provinces. Though the interior has suffered changes, there is a fine relief by Matteo da Campione representing a royal Lombard coronation, and some 15th-century frescoes with scenes from the life of Theodelinda.

The historical centre also include:

  • the church of Santa Maria in Strada, with a rich terra-cotta façade of 1393
  • the Broletto or Arengario, the 14th-century palace of the civic commune, raised on an arcade of pointed arches, with a tall square machiolated tower terminating in a sharp central cone.
  • the church of San Pietro Martire
  • the memorial Cappella Espiatoria, built in 1900 in memory of the assassinated King Umberto I of Italy
  • Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (15ht century)
  • Oratory of St. Gregory (17th century)
  • church of Santa Maria al Carrobiolo (16th century)

Nearby, the Villa Reale (royal palace) originally built by Giuseppe Piermarini in 1777 for the archduke Ferdinand of Austria, lies on the banks of the Lambro, surrounded by Monza Park, one of the largest enclosed parks in Europe.

Other villas includes the Mirabello, Mirabellino, Durini, Crivelli Mesmer, Prata, Archinto Pennati, Calloni and Villa Carminati-Ferrario.

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