According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Milan (Italian Milano), is a city in Lombardy, with (2019) 1.37 million residents the second largest city in Italy.

In Milan there are several universities, many museums (including the Pinacoteca di Brera and the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana with famous libraries), theaters and an opera (the “Scala”). Milan is the most important economic center in Italy and a well-known trade fair city. Notable buildings include the church of Sant ‘Ambrogio (early Christian complex, today’s building dates from the 10th-12th centuries) and the Gothic cathedral made of white marble (begun in 1386).

History: The ancient Mediolanum is a Celtic foundation that dates back to 222 BC. Was subjugated by the Romans. In Milan in 313 Constantine the Great and Licinius agreed on the so-called Edict of Tolerance of Milan, which guaranteed Christianity equality with the pagan religions. In the 4th century, the Milanese church came into high esteem under Bishop Ambrose. In 961 the city was subjugated by Otto the Great. In the 12th century, Milan took over the leadership of the Lombard League and gained increasing power under the rule of the Visconti. After their extinction (1447), the city was under the rule of the Sforza (high point of the Renaissance culture), then under French (1499–1525) and Spanish rule until it passed to the Austrian Habsburgs in 1714.

City Profile

In line with its importance as a location for international banks and commercial enterprises, Milan is also the Italian center of modern architecture and design. The most important buildings of the 20th century include works by G. Terragni (Casa Rustici, 1934); L. Figini and G. Pollini (Madonna dei Poveri Church, 1952-54); I. Gardella (the pavilion for contemporary art built as an extension of the gallery for modern art, 1953/54; destroyed by bomb explosion in 1993, reconstruction based on the new design completed in 1996); L. Belgiojoso, E. Peressutti, E. Rogers (expansion of the Castello into a museum, 1954–63; high-rise Torre Velasca, 1957–60); G. Ponti, P. L. Nervi (Torre Pirelli, 1955–59) and residential buildings in the southern industrial suburb of Gallaratese (1967–72) by A. Rossi, C. Aymonino and V. Gregotti. The Galleria della Triennale in the Palazzo dell’Arte (1933) was designed by Gae Aulenti and Umberto Riva modernized and reopened in 1994. As part of the “Bicocca” urbanization project, a modern office and residential area was created in a former industrial district in the northeast of the city. Here is also the new building of the Teatro degli Arcimboldi (opened in 2002; V. Gregotti; from 2002-04 domicile for the Teatro alla Scala). The new building of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano (Marco Zanuso) was completed in 1998. A memorial for the Jewish victims of National Socialism was opened in and under the main train station in 2013. Modern high-rise buildings characterize the new Porta Nuova district, including the residential high-rise buildings Bosco Verticale by Stefano Boeri (Completed in 2014), which won the 2014 International Highrise Award. The CityLife Milano project, which has been under construction since 2007, is a business center in the old exhibition center designed by the architects A. Isozaki, D. Libeskind and Z. Hadid. – 7 km southeast of Milan, the Cistercian Abbey of Chiaravalle, founded in Clairvaux in 1135; the abbey church of Santa Maria is originally a Romanesque brick basilica (12th / 13th century) with a high crossing tower (early 14th century).


The ancient Mediolanum, a foundation of the Celtic Insubrians, was founded in 222 BC. Conquered by the Romans. Diocletian made the city, an important traffic junction as well as a cultural and educational center since the early imperial period, into one of the imperial residence cities. In the Edict of Tolerance of Milan (313) the Christian cult was put on an equal footing with the pagan religions. In the 4th century, the Church of Milan, especially under Ambrose, gained a certain independence from the Bishop of Rome, which lives on in the Ambrosian liturgy.

In the early Middle Ages, Milan was conquered by the Huns (452), Ostrogoths (539) and Lombards (569) and came to the Frankish Empire in 774. From 961 it was administered by imperial governors and then by archbishops. The revolt of the Valvassors and the revolutionary movement of the Pataria around the middle of the 11th century ushered in the communal age of Milan (consuls are first attested in 1097). The expansion of Milan that began in the 12th century fell victim to Lodi and Como first, who, together with Milan’s most bitter rival, Pavia, called on Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa for help; in spite of the destruction in 1162 (reconstruction from 1167), Milan took over the leadership of the Lombard cities a few years later (Lombard League). The transition from commune to signoria took place after fierce fighting, especially between the Guelphs and Ghibellines, and finally the Visconti took over rule (1277); a new wave of expansion began (especially under Giangaleazzo Visconti, who was made duke in 1395), which led to conflict and eventful war with Venice in the 15th century. After the main line Visconti had died out (1447), Francesco Sforza gained power in 1450 after an attempt to restore freedom (“Ambrosian Republic”) had failed. Under Ludovico Sforza (il Moro), Duke since 1480, the height of Renaissance culture was reached in Milan. The French kings raised inheritance claims against his successors and took possession of the land in 1499–1512, 1515–21 and 1524–25; but Spain (Charles V) forced them to renounce. When the last Sforza died in 1535, the Duchy of Milan came in 1546 (enfeoffment of Philip, son of Emperor Charles V.) and 1556 to the Spanish, 1714 to the Austrian Habsburgs; Since then Milan has been the capital of Lombardy, 1797–1815 of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy and 1815–59 of the Austrian Kingdom of Lombardy-Veneto. During the Risorgimento, Milan (also as the center of the beginning industrialization) was at the center of the national movement. The “uprising of the five days” (March 18-22, 1848), which temporarily expelled the Austrians from Milan, and the socialist mass protest of 1898 at the height of a severe social and political crisis in liberal Italy affected the whole country. In 1919 B. Mussolini founded the first “Fascio di combattimento” (fascism) in Milan. In 1943 Milan was the capital of the fascist “Social Republic of Italy” Mussolini and, from the beginning of 1944, the underground headquarters of the Italian resistance against German occupiers and Italian fascists in Northern Italy. During the Second World War, the city was badly damaged by air raids.

Milan, Italy