Duomo di Milano or Milan Cathedral is undoubtedly one of the most iconic landmarks that comes to mind when one thinks of Italy. Today, we bring to you some lesser-known facts you need to know before visiting this architectural wonder that took almost six centuries to complete. By Amitha Ameen

Duomo di Milano is super big. So big that it covers an entire block in Milan city. As a matter of fact, the cathedral is the second largest in the world, the first being Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. The inside of this church houses many large stained-glass windows, three of which are the tallest in the world.

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#Sapevateche le #Terrazze del @duomodimilano con una superficie di 8000 mq, sono il tetto calpestabile più grande del mondo di una #Cattedrale Gotica? Sono situate ad un’altezza di 65-70 metri e i gradini per raggiungere (a piedi) il primo livello sono 251! Immergetevi nella meraviglia di #Milano da una prospettiva unica ed #emozionante ad ogni ora del giorno e in ogni stagione ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ #Didyouknow that the #Terraces of #MilanCathedral with an area of 8000 square meters, are the largest walkable roof in the world of a #gothic #Cathedral? They are located at a height of 65-70 meters and the steps are 251 to reach (on foot) the first level! Immerse yourself in the #wonder of #Milan from a unique and exciting perspective at any time of the day and in any season #romanticview #wonderful #amazingplaces #milantovisit #milantourism #enjoy #ig_milano #igersmilano #instamilano #milanogram #inLombardia #venerandafabbricadelduomo #mustvisit #sunnyday #february2019 @milano__foto @thats_milano @nelcuoredimilano @eventiatmilano

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Not many people know this, but the rooftop of the cathedral is open to visitors for a small view. Two elevators and six stone stairways will bring you to a breathtaking, 360-degree view of the city. A feeling of being amongst the clouds is sure to envelop you while standing here. Did we mention that the terrace of the cathedral is also the largest walkable roof in the world with an area of 8,000 square meters?

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#19Marzo Con il culto di #SanGiuseppe, oggi si festeggia anche la #festadelpapà, quindi Auguri a tutti i papà dal @duomodimilano ! Antello della nascita di Gesù, dalla #vetrata n.33 sulla storia della vita di Giuseppe Today on March 19th we celebrate Saint Joseph, patron of the Universal Chuch, last patriarch, groom of Virgin Mary and putative father of Jesus Christ. Right and faithful man, he was placed by God ad guardian of His home. With the worship of Joseph, we also celebrate #fathersday, so best wishes to all dads of the world! #milancathedral #fathersday2018 #nativity #stainedglasswindow #colourful #visualbible #saintjoseph #march19 #patron #universalchurch #inLombardia #milanogram #visitmilano #venerandafabbricadelduomo

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The cathedral has many relics that have withstood time. A small red-light bulb near the apse (semi-dome), marks the spot where one of the nails, reportedly, from the Crucifixion of Christ is placed. Every year, the holy nail is brought out and displayed to the public during one of the festivals called the Rite of the Nivola, a ritual that dates to the 16th century. The other most precious art piece in the cathedral is that of St. Bartholomew, who was said to have been skinned alive and later beheaded.

Another iconic statue is the Madonnina (Virgin Mary) atop the cathedral in Italy. But what not many may know is that the golden copper halberd held by the Madonnina apart from warding off evil spirits and defeating demonic forces, is actually a fully functional lightning conductor in disguise. Bet you didn’t know that!

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"Un mondo solido che, tuttavia, al chiaro di luna, pare un'illusione fatata di arabeschi di ghiaccio pronta a svanire in un soffio!… Una visione! Un miracolo! Un inno intonato nella pietra, una poesia incisa nel marmo!" Così #MarkTwain scriveva nell'Ottocento con meraviglia e contemplazione del #duomodimilano #MoonDay #20luglio . 📍Guglia Maggiore del Duomo di Milano . "A solid world that, however, in the moonlight, appears to be a fairy illusion of ice arabesques ready to vanish in a breath!… A vision! A miracle! An anthem sung in the stone, a poem carved in marble!" so #MarkTwain wrote about #milancathedral in the 19th century with wonder and contemplation . . . #MoonDay #20July #milano #milan #milanogram #nofilter #differentangle #madonnina #adottaunaguglia #getyourspire #beautyeverywhere #instacool #igersmilano ##travelfriendly #milancity #archilovers #travelpic #italy #travelpc #beautifuldestinations #italian_places #moonlanding #architecture

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Between the 6,000 odd statues that include 55 intricately stained glasses, 150 gargoyles and roughly 200 bas reliefs (sculptures), the Duomo di Milano is undoubtedly, a marvel that needs to be witnessed by everyone.

Related: Here Are 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Notre-Dame Cathedral