Basilica di San Babila

Architecture & Buildings

Europe, Italy, Milan

San Babila is a church in Milan, northern Italy. It was once considered the third most important in the city after the Duomo and the Basilica di Sant'Ambrogio. A first church was erected on the site, probably in the 4th century, over a pre-existing Roman temple dedicated to the Sun. The nature and the origins of this edifice are unclear, although a reconstruction in the 9th century is attested. In the 16th century the church was prolonged with the addition of a further frontal section, and a new Baroque façade. The whole complex was renovated in the 19th century with the intent of restoring the forms of the Medieval basilica, and in the early 20th century the Neo-Romanesque façade by Paolo Cesa-Bianchi was built. The bell tower is from 1920, a replacement of the original one, crumbled down in the 16th century. The interior has a nave and two aisles. Nothing of the original edifice has remained after the restoration and reconstruction carried on in the following centuries. The two side chapels are from Late Renaissance. The right aisle has an image of the Madonna which is highly venerated by the Milanese population.