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Cimitero Monumentale di Milano

Coordinates: 45°29′09″N 9°10′45″E / 45.485831°N 9.179056°E / 45.485831; 9.179056
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Cimitero Monumentale di Milano
Monumental Cemetery of Milan
Main entrance
Established1 January 1867
Coordinates45°29′09″N 9°10′45″E / 45.485831°N 9.179056°E / 45.485831; 9.179056
Owned byCity of Milan
Size25 hectares (62 acres)
WebsiteMonumental Cemetery

The Cimitero Monumentale [tʃimiˈtɛːro monumenˈtaːle] ("Monumental Cemetery") is one of the two largest cemeteries in Milan, Italy, the other one being the Cimitero Maggiore. It is noted for the abundance of artistic tombs and monuments.

Designed by the architect Carlo Maciachini (1818–1899), it was planned to consolidate a number of small cemeteries that used to be scattered around the city into a single location.

Officially opened in 1866, it has since then been filled with a wide range of contemporary and classical Italian sculptures as well as Greek temples, elaborate obelisks, and other original works such as a scaled-down version of the Trajan's Column. Many of the tombs belong to noted industrialist dynasties, and were designed by artists such as Adolfo Wildt, Giò Ponti, Arturo Martini, Agenore Fabbri, Lucio Fontana, Medardo Rosso, Giacomo Manzù, Floriano Bodini, and Giò Pomodoro.

The main entrance is through the large Famedio, a massive Hall of Fame-like Neo-Medieval style building made of marble and stone that contains the tombs of some of the city's and the country's most honored citizens, including that of novelist Alessandro Manzoni.

The Civico Mausoleo Palanti designed by the architect Mario Palanti is a tomb built for meritorious "Milanesi", or citizens of Milan. The memorial of about 800 Milanese killed in Nazi concentration camps is located in the center and is the work of the group BBPR, formed by leading exponents of Italian rationalist architecture that included Gianluigi Banfi.

The cemetery has a special section for those who do not belong to the Catholic religion and a Jewish section.

Near the entrance there is a permanent exhibition of prints, photographs, and maps outlining the cemetery's historical development. It includes two battery-operated electric hearses built in the 1920s.

The Jewish Section[edit]

The section, designed by Carlo Maciachini, opened in 1872 to replace the cemeteries of Porta Tenaglia, Porta Magenta, and Porta Vercellina. It lies east of the Catholic cemetery and has a separate entrance. The area is the result of a 1913 expansion to the southern and east. The central building was originally the entrance to the cemetery.

Tomb numbering is repeated because the cemetery is divided into six fields and an addition in the eastern side. There are also three common fields, including one for children, where burials date from 1873 to 1894, with small gravestones on the ground bearing the names and dates of death.

The monuments, built from 1866 onward, are located along the walkways. There are also family shrines, two of which were designed by Maciachini, columbaria, and ossuaries along the northern and western cemetery walls and burials in the central building. There are 1778 burials, some in memory of people killed by in Nazi concentration camps or in the Lake Maggiore massacres, including at Meina.

There are many monuments of artistic value built by important architects and sculptors, described in the guide book by Giovanna Ginex and Ornella Selvafolta .[1]

Jewish section, photo from above

The following architects have worked in the Jewish section: Carlo Maciachini (Davide Leonino and Pisa shrines), Giovanni Battista Bossi (Anselmo de Benedetti tomb), Ercole Balossi Merlo (Leon David Levi shrine), Luigi Conconi (Segre shrine), Giovanni Ceruti (Vitali shrine), Carlo Meroni (Taranto tomb), Cesare Mazzocchi (Giulio Foligno shrine), Manfredo d'Urbino (Jarach shrine, Mayer tomb, Besso tomb, Monument to the Jewish Martyrs of Nazism), Gigiotti Zanini (Zanini tomb), Adolfo Valabrega (Moisé Foligno shrine), Luigi Perrone (Goldfinger shrine). Sculptors whose work is found here include: Mario Quadrelli (Pisa shrine), Giuseppe Daniele Benzoni (Ottolenghi Finzi tomb), Luigi Vimercati (Estella Jung tomb), Agostino Caravati (Alessandro Forti tomb), Rizzardo Galli (Vittorio Finzi tomb), Enrico Cassi (De Daninos tomb), Attilio Prendoni (Errera and Conforti tomb), Eduardo Ximenes (Treves shrine), Giulio Branca (Giovanni Norsa tomb, Michelangelo Carpi tomb), fratelli Bonfanti (Davide and Beniamino Foà tomb), Enrico Astorri (Carolina Padova and Fanny Levi Cammeo tomb), Egidio Boninsegna (Giuseppe Levi tomb), Dario Viterbo (Levi Minzi columbarium), Giannino Castiglioni (Ettore Levis and Goldfinger tombs), Adolfo Wildt (Cesare Sarfatti tomb), Eugenio Pellini (Bettino Levi tomb), Arrigo Minerbi (Renato del Mar tomb), Roberto Terracini (Nino Colombo tomb).[2]

The central building was enhanced in May 2015 with artistic windows that represent the Twelve Tribes of Israel by the artist Diego Pennacchio Ardemagni.[3]


The cemetery contains the Crematorium Temple, which was the first crematorium to open in the Western world. The crematorium opened in 1876 and was operational until 1992. The building is also a columbarium.[4][5][6] As with other early crematoria in Italy, it was built in Greek Revival architecture.[4]

Famous graves[edit]

Alessandro Manzoni's tomb
Carlo Cattaneo's tomb
Luca Beltrami's tomb

Signals located throughout the cemetery point visitors to several of the most remarkable tombs and monuments. Some of the persons interred in the cemetery include:

Mayors of Milan


Other famous graves[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Giovanna Ginex, Ornella Selvafolta, The monumental cemetery of Milan’’, Silvana Editore, 1999
  2. ^ A description in Italian of major tombs and their artists can be found in the online guide to this section-
  3. ^ Inaugurato il nuovo tempietto al Monumentale
  4. ^ a b "Typology: Crematorium". Architectural Review. 14 November 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2019.
  5. ^ Boi, Annalisa; Celsi, Valeria (2015). "The Crematorium Temple in the Monumental Cemetery in Milan". In_Bo. Ricerche e Progetti per Il Territorio. 6 (8). doi:10.6092/issn.2036-1602/6076.
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of Cremation by Lewis H. Mates (pp. 21–23)

External links[edit]