- Art & Culture
Chiesa San Cristoforo
San Cristoforo is an evocative complex consisting of two little churches.
San Cristoforo is an evocative complex consisting of two little churches. The older of the two, on the left, is located on the path that led from Lomellina to Milan, in a necessary passageway through the network of various water courses.
The first church was built during the Romanesque period (1192) and significantly altered in the 14th century concurrently with the works on the Naviglio Grande. A certain friar, Pietro Franzoni of Tavernasco, flanked it with a hospital for pilgrims, built around 1364, at the same time overseeing major alterations to the church.
The church on the right, widely known as the Cappella Ducale, dates to the 15th century. It was built under the patronage of Gian Galeazzo Visconti in response to the calls of the public following the sudden end of the plague, which in 1399 claimed 20,000 victims in Milan.
The Cappella Ducale was not only named after St. Christopher, protector against pestilence, like the pre-existing church and hospice, but also Saints John the Baptist, James and the Blessed Christine of Spoleto, protectors of the Visconti, to commemorate the victory over the Armagnacs in Alessandria on 25 July (St. Christopher’s Day) 1391.
The facade is decorated with the family’s famous coat of arms with the biscione, alongside which is that of the Municipality with the red cross against a white background. On the facade of the older church there is also the coat of arms with the cardinal’s hat and the radiant sun among the stars of Cardinal Pietro Filargo (1339-1410), bishop of Milan and later Pope Alexander V.