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Milan Duomo in the Rain

A rainy evening at the Duomo in Milan. Have you ever wondered what in the world the differences between a Duomo, basilica, cathedral and a chiesa? These terms a...
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A rainy evening at the Duomo in Milan. Have you ever wondered what in the world the differences between a Duomo, basilica, cathedral and a chiesa? These terms are used all over Europe.

Let’s start with basilica. The Latin term has three applications in modern English. The word was originally used to describe an open, Roman, public court building, usually located adjacent to the forum of a Roman town. By extension it was applied to Christian buildings of the same form and continues to be used to describe those buildings with a central nave and aisles. Later, the term came to refer specifically to a large and important church that has been given special ceremonial rights by the Pope.

A cathedral (Latin cathedra, “seat”) is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese. Duomo is synonomous with cathedral in Italian, although nowadays it can refer to either a current or former cathedral. The latter could occur if the town no longer has a bishop. And some duomos, although old and important churches, have never actually been cathedrals. The word duomo probably derives from the Latin word “domus”, meaning house, as a cathedral is the “house of God”, or domus Dei.

Finally, chiesa. This is simply Italian for “church”. So if you’re unsure, you can always use this term safely!
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2 Comments | Report
stuartwadeson Premium
 
stuartwadeson September 17, 2017
Great black and white capture and thanks for the following
nidiamondejar
 
nidiamondejar December 19, 2017
Thought I recognized.