Como is the main city on the shores of Lake Como, north of Milan, Italy. Today we are featuring its cathedral, or Duomo, begun in 1396. Although Como was settled in Roman times in 196 BC and has a many Romanesque churches from the 12th century, the Duomo is gothic.
This photo illustrates a common frustration with some Italian cathedrals. The city planners 500 years ago did not anticipate modern cameras and some of the piazzas in front of the cathedrals do not allow photographers to back up far enough to get the entire facade in the camera's view. I did not own a fish eye lens last summer, which would be needed for a full view.
This is a detail of the rose window in the front facade of the Duomo. The Como Duomo is not as large as the cathedrals of Milan, Florence or Rome. It is about the same size as the Duomo in Siena, which is my favorite cathedral. The statues on each side of the Rose window are Pliny the elder and Pliny the Younger, both natives of Como.
The colors of the marble catch the late afternoon sun and add a textured background for the exquisite architectural details.
The front facade of the cathedral has what I would describe as a false front, similar to the facades of wooden buildings on the main streets of old town in the American West. The facade is higher than the roof line, making the building look even larger than it is.
The facade includes statues, like other Gothic cathedrals in Italy. The Como Duomo was the last Gothic cathedral constructed in Italy, as its construction was begun 10 years after the start of the Milan cathedral, which has about 2,000 more statues on its exterior.
The interior of Italian and Spanish cathedrals and churches have unique beauty. My husband and I rarely pass a church in Europe without going inside so see what unfolds. The Como Duomo does not disappoint.
This is one of the pillars on the interior of the cathedral, with a splash of colored light filtered through the rose window.
The top of the Duomo is so fanciful that it looks like it could be the inspiration for Disneyland.