Under the Milan cathedral, better known as Duomo, there’s a hidden factory where, from centuries, a lot of people work endlessly: bricklayers, carpenters, sculptors, restorers. The Duomo is an infinite construction site because its built with a marble so unique and beautiful but also fragile when it comes to face the time passing by. The marbles of the Duomo come exclusively from the marble quarry of Candoglia, in the Ossola valley, from 1387, and since then it’s intended from the ancient family Visconti for the construction of one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Europe. Over the centuries the marbles crumble, break down and must be replaced.
That’s why the “Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo” (Patriarchal Factory of the Duomo) has been in charge for over six centuries (and still is) to check, repair, sculpt and replace the ruined parts. We’re talking about arches, pillars, lunettes, but also the 3,400 statues adorning spires and gargoyles that must be regularly “retired” and then kept in one of the most incredible and fascinating cemetery of the city of Milan.