It is virtually impossible to imagine the Duomo di Milano without its spires. However, until the early 1800s the Milanese daily observed a Cathedral that was very different to the one we see today.
Actually, most of the spires were installed in the early decades of the 19th century as a result of the intensive activity of the Fabbrica del Duomo’s construction site.
The “marble” workers grouped into quadratura specialists, decorators and sculptors worked tirelessly in there workshops located in Piazza di Camposanto and in Santa Radegonda, each with a precise duty.
Specifically, the construction of spires first required a base called “piantato” to be created. The other elements, both large and small, were added to it as “pillars”, “frames” and plaster projections (bottaccioli).
The single architectural and sculptural parts were installed by means of lead-based plaster and iron cotters secured to the central part, which was made up of the so-called “iron piantone (base)” that was designed to support the entire construction and allow its vertical development.
Hoisting and assembly were certainly the most complex phases for the workers, crowned by the installation of the statue at the “top”.
The spires of the Duomo di Milano need ongoing care. Support this treasure of the Cathedral by joining the fund collection campaign ‘Get your Spire. Carve your name in history’.