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A walk through Santa Maria delle Grazie | Home to Last Supper Milan

Last Supper Milan Santa Maria delle Grazie

Standing tall and proud in Milan, Italy, is the charming Santa Maria delle Grazie. This old church, steeped in history and mystery, holds something truly remarkable: Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site that draws people worldwide towards its hallowed walls and serene cloisters, offering a blend of religious awe and artistic inspiration.

How to access the basilica?

To access the Santa Maria delle Grazie Basilica in Milan and view Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, it's essential to purchase tickets in advance. When booking, ensure your ticket grants access to the entire church, not just the painting. And if you're seeking a guided tour of Santa Maria delle Grazie beyond admiring the painting, you might want to explore the option of Da Vinci's Last Supper Skip-the-Line Guided Tour.




Book Santa Maria della Grazie tickets

Da Vinci's Last Supper Skip-the-Line Guided Tour
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1 hr.
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Milan: City Center and Last Supper Guided Tour
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2 hr. - 3 hr.
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Milan: City Walking Tour with Milan Cathedral & Last Supper Guided tour
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3 hr.
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Milan in a Day: Guided Tour of Downtown, Last Supper, Milan Cathedral & Duomo Museum Pass
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6 hr.
Guided tour
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Quick facts - Santa Maria Delle Grazie

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Why visit Santa Maria Delle Grazie?

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Plan your visit to Santa Maria Delle Grazie

Santa Maria delle Grazie
Santa Maria delle Grazie location

History of Santa Maria Delle Grazie

Santa Maria delle Grazie, founded in 1463, is an architecturally significant church in Milan, Italy. Its history stretches across centuries, beginning with its construction under the patronage of the Duke of Milan, and culminating in its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. It gained worldwide acclaim for housing Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, The Last Supper, completed in 1498. Santa Maria delle Grazie was commissioned by Duke Francesco I Sforza to replace a smaller chapel, reflecting his desire for grandeur. Through centuries marked by wars and renovations, the church has remained a steadfast symbol of enduring faith amidst historical turmoil.

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Architecture of Santa Maria delle Grazie

Santa Maria delle Grazie is a prime example of late Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Its design features elements of both styles:

  1. Gothic influences: The church's facade exhibits classic Gothic characteristics, with pointed arches, intricate rose windows, and decorative details.
  2. Renaissance elements: The interior of the church underwent Renaissance renovations, with a harmonious and symmetrical layout, classic Roman-style columns, and a serene, well-lit atmosphere.
  3. Cloisters: The adjoining convent includes beautiful Renaissance-style cloisters with elegant arches and columns, showcasing the transition from Gothic to Renaissance architecture.

Frequently asked questions about Santa Maria Delle Grazie

Why is Santa Maria delle Grazie famous?

Santa Maria delle Grazie is famous primarily for its association with The Last Supper. This iconic mural painting, created by Leonardo da Vinci in the late 15th century, is considered a masterpiece of Renaissance art. The church's fame extends to its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, highlighting its cultural and historical importance.

What is the architecture of Santa Maria delle Grazie like?

Santa Maria delle Grazie exhibits a unique blend of late Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles. The exterior features elements typical of Gothic architecture, such as pointed arches and intricate rose windows. Inside the church, visitors can admire classic Renaissance elements, including Roman-style columns and a harmonious, well-lit interior.

Is Santa Maria delle Grazie a functioning church today?

Yes, Santa Maria delle Grazie continues to serve as a functioning church. It hosts regular religious services and events, maintaining its role as a place of worship for the local community.

What else can I explore in the vicinity of Santa Maria delle Grazie?

In the vicinity of Santa Maria delle Grazie, you can explore the vibrant city of Milan. This includes visiting other historic landmarks, such as the Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano), Sforza Castle (Castello Sforzesco), and numerous museums and galleries. Additionally, Milan offers a thriving culinary scene, high-end shopping, and a rich cultural heritage.

Is photography allowed inside the church and while viewing The Last Supper?

No, photography is generally not allowed inside Santa Maria delle Grazie, including when viewing The Last Supper. This restriction is in place to protect the artwork and maintain its condition for future generations.

What is the significance of the name Santa Maria delle Grazie?

The name Santa Maria delle Grazie translates to Holy Mary of Grace in English. It reflects the church's dedication to the Virgin Mary and signifies her role as a source of divine grace and blessings for believers.

How did the church survive during periods of war and conflict in Milan's history?

The church survived periods of war and conflict in Milan's history through a combination of strategic location, resilient construction, and preservation efforts. Being situated within the city, it likely benefited from defensive measures implemented by local authorities during times of conflict. Additionally, the sturdy construction of the building would have helped it withstand attacks or damage from warfare.