The foundation

Our monastery was founded in 1135 in a marshy area not far from south walls of Porta Romana in Milan. The building was requested by St. Bernard and supported from the Milanese population, with the contribution of donors and autorities. Today nothing remains of the first church, but the construction of th actual complex was started between 1150 and 1160 on the original chapel. In 1221 bishop Enrico Settala consacrated the church.

The glorification of the Vergin Mary

by Stefano Fiorentino

The Frescoes’ cicles

Many important artist of milanese area contributed with the decoration inside the church between ‘500 and ‘700, such as Bernardino Luini and Fiammenghini brothers. The monastic community was suppressed in 1798 by the Repubblica Cisalpina and different parts of the complex were destroyed or auctioned. The church became a parish church and only at the end of XIX c. started a reconstruction project. Finally the 1st of March 1952 Cardinal archbishop Ildefonso Schuster wanted the Cistercian monks to return to Chiaravalle.

The monastery complex

Works for building the monastery went on during the years, with the bell tower, known as “Ciribiciaccola” (1347 - 1349), and the chapter house (XV sec.).

Between 1439 and 1497 a first big cloister was build, attributed to Bramante.

The clock tower was build in 1568.


Monastero S. Maria di Chiaravalle

Via Sant’Arialdo, 102 - 20139 Milano

 T. - F.

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The church and the cloister are visitable from Tuesday to Saturnday from 9am to 12am and (also on Sunday) from 3pm to 5pm.

For informations about tours for groups see the page on site.

The transept and the cloister stay closed on Monday.

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