The Cimitero Monumentale is one of the two largest cemeteries in Milan, the other one being the Cimitero Maggiore. It is noted for the abundance of artistic tombs and monuments.
Designed by the architect Carlo Maciachini (1818–1899), it was planned to consolidate a number of small cemeteries that used to be scattered around the city into a single location.
Officially opened in 1866, it has since then been filled with a wide range of contemporary and classical Italian sculptures as well as Greek temples, elaborate obelisks, and other original works such as a scaled-down version of the Trajan's Column. Many of the tombs belong to noted industrialist dynasties, and were designed by artists such as Adolfo Wildt, Giò Ponti, Arturo Martini, Dante Parini, Lucio Fontana, Medardo Rosso, Giacomo Manzù, Floriano Bodini, and Giò Pomodoro.
The main entrance is through the large Famedio, a massive Hall of Fame-like Neo-Medieval style building made of marble and stone that contains the tombs of some of the city's and the country's most honored citizens, including that of novelist Alessandro Manzoni.
The Civico Mausoleo Palanti designed by the architect Mario Palanti is a tomb built for meritorious 'Milanesi', or citizens of Milan. The memorial of about 800 Milanese killed in Nazi concentration camps is located in the center and is the work of the group BBPR, formed by leading exponents of Italian rationalist architecture that included Gianluigi Banfi.
The cemetery has a special section for those who do not belong to the Catholic religion and a Jewish section.
Near the entrance there is a permanent exhibition of prints, photographs, and maps outlining the cemetery's historical development. It includes two battery-operated electric hearses built in the 1920s.References:
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.
In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.