Duomo, or Great Cathedral of Milan, is said to be the finest work of Gothic architecture in the world. Its foundation was laid in 1386, four hundred and ninety-three years ago; and it is still unfinished. It is built entirely of marble, which, under an Italian sky, has preserved its whiteness; and its appearance is exceedingly beautiful. It is adorned with more than one hundred pinnacles or spires, upon the tops of which are statues; these, as they gleam in the last rays of sunset, or under the full moon, seem like angelic sentinels ranged along the heavenly battlements, for the pinnacles are more than three hundred feet in height. The arches of the roof are supported by fifty-two pillars, each fifteen feet in diameter. Around the roof and sides of the cathedral are no less than four thousand six hundred niches, of which about four thousand are already occupied by statues, as perfectly executed as if made for an art gallery.

While the exterior dazzles and astonishes the beholder by the brilliancy of the marble, the Gothic ornaments, and the statues, he is not less strongly impressed by the interior. The beauties of the outside draw away the eye from the vastness of the building as a whole, so that not until he enters within does its immensity burst upon the visitor. The eye dazzles in looking up to the vaulted roof, and is almost overpowered by the number of grand and beautiful objects, which claim attention. The building is crowded with monuments of prelates and princes; the floor is of marble of different colors, formed in various figures; paintings by the most celebrated masters adorn the walls; and the groups of figures sketched on the stained-glass windows are of great size and beauty.

The height of this wonderful church is 265 feet, the length 485 feet, the breadth 191 feet, and the transept 287 feet. The height of the spire in the center of the church is 355 feet, or 130 feet higher than Bunker-hill Monument.

But there is another church in Milan, which, though smaller in size, and much less beautiful than the Duomo, is of greater interest to Christians. It is that of St. Ambrose, which was founded by the good bishop of this name in A. D. 387, and, in which he eloquently and faithfully preached the gospel. His most famous convert was Augustine, who became the greatest of the church fathers, and at whose baptism it is believed was first sung the majestic anthem of St. Ambrose, "We praise thee, O God; we acknowledge thee to be the Lord," which glorious song will continue to be sung in earthly temples, till it is caught up by voices around the throne of God.