The Sant’Eustorgio Basilica in Milan stands near the Porta Ticinese along the road to Pavia. It is one of the oldest churches in the city. The bell tower is crowned by a star, instead of the more common cross.
Sant’Eustorgio Basilica Milan
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Piazza Sant’Eustorgio, 1 – Milan. Telephone: +39 02 58101583. Opening hours: From 07:45 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:30. Entrance fee: Free of charge.
The Basilica di Sant’Eustorgio was founded on the site of a 3rd century cemetery. It is here that the apostle Barnabas is said to have baptized the first Christians. It is believed that the church was founded by Eustorgio I, bishop of Milan from 344 to 350.
Under the apse, there are ruins of an early Christian church. From the walls it can be deduced that this church was restored in the 11th century.
The original façade dates back to the 12th century, but was restored in neo-Romanesque style by Giovanni Brocca between 1864 and 1865. Notable features are the pointed roof and the protruding arches under the eaves.
The three portals are crowned by lunettes with mosaics.
On the left corner, next to the Domenican cloister, is the pulpit from which the 13th century San Pietro Martire (St. Peter of Verona) used to preach.
The apses on the south side were built between the 13th and 14th centuries for some noble families. Between the 17th and 18th centuries these apses were raised, but between 1864 and 1872 these modifications were undone by the architect Enrico Terzaghi.
The bell tower is located at the back of the church and houses the first public bell in Italy. Instead of being crowned by a cross, this tower is crowned by an octagonal star, symbolizing the star that led the three wise men to Bethlehem.
The interior consists of three naves with cross vaults.