Santa Maria delle Grazie
Santa Maria delle Grazie is the most celebrated heritage church in Milan which is frequented by tourists all over the world for its grand display of architectural splendors and the world famous work of Leonardo da Vinci ‘The Last Supper’ which is on display here. It is included in the prestigious world heritage sites list for its astounding architectural marvels. The grandeur of this Catholic Church with one of the world’s finest artworks and with its gothic naves in the interior enjoys as a top attraction for millions of tourists on their Milan holiday.
In the fifteenth century with the order of the duke of Milan Francesco Sforza this huge architecture with a small chapel and a Dominican convent was built. This beautiful gothic architectural design was conceived by the principal architect Guiniforte Solari. In the subsequent time the church received several frescoes and decorative works by famous renaissance artists like Titian, Gaudenzio Ferrari, Bramantino and Bernardo Zenale.
The three principal attractions that make this architecture so famous are the beautiful gothic knaves of the church, the numerous frescoes in the church décor and finally the world famous work of Leonardo da Vinci ‘The Last Supper’ which depicts the Christ with his disciples just before his crucifixion. While this painting still remained the principal attraction to many tourists and art enthusiasts on their Milan tour, the numerous artistic décor both in the interior and exterior of the church are also memorable for their artistic delights. The whole architecture of Santa Maria delle Grazie is the finest example of the confluence of gothic and renaissance styles. Leonardo da Vinci worked in this church and designed the lunette in the portico. The exterior dome with delicately designed medallions and coat of arms really deserves appreciation. The central knave, pointed arches and masterfully depicted frescoes in the interior mesmerize you with great artistic delights.
The Last Supper
‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci is one of the few paintings that are considered the greatest artistic achievements till this day. It had been the inspiration for countless artists and creative personalities in different eras, as Aldous Huxley described this iconic painting as the saddest work of art seen by him. A refractory adjoining the church houses this painting now. The painting captures the moment when Christ is disclosing on the supper table just before his crucifixion that one of his disciples would betray him. The awe, surprise, distrust, in the looks of the disciples and their facial expressions are most dramatically depicted with subtle works of light and shade. Rarely such dramatic brilliance had been achieved with such stupefying beauty in a work of art.
How to Get There?
It is fairly within the main city limits of Milan and tourists can either take Tram 16 or can take the metro and get off at Cadorna.
Timing and Tickets
From Monday to Friday the church remains open for visitors in two shifts, 7.00 am to 12.00 am and 3.00 pm to 7.00 pm. On Saturday and Sunday in the evening it remains open until 9.00 in the evening besides regular timing in the morning and afternoon.
Visiting Santa Maria delle Grazie is completely free for all.