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Milan: the devil's column ...

In the fourteenth century, the Dominican friar Galvano Fiamma, he tells in his Chronichae That the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire had to embrace the column present in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio in order to be crowned. The column, in chives, was precisely called Imperial column for this use of it.


<< [...] The emperor will swear that he will be obedient to the Pope and the Roman Church in temporal and spiritual things. [...] This has done the emperor must embrace that straight marble column to mean that justice in him will be straight ...>>

(Galvano Fiamma, Chronichae)


The column, from the Roman era, is located in Piazza Sant’Ambrogio near the Basilicata homonymous but initially belonged to the Roman imperial palace of Mediolanum, erected by the emperor Maximian at the end of the third century.

Curious Milan campaign image Sant'Ambrogio

Found during archaeological excavations in the nineteenth century, it immediately became noticed for two peculiar holes present at the bottom.

Milan Curious Campaign Column of the Devil

It doesn't take long because, renamed it "the devil's column", a rather singular legend formed on it:

The devil wanted to meet Sant’Ambrogio at all costs to try it to evil. The repeated attempts, because the saint, losing patience, gave him a kick to chase him far away. The wicked lost the balance by going to stick their horns in the column close to them while remaining stuck for a whole day. Finally he used the holes created by his horns as a portal to return to hell.

 milan curious campaign photo piazza duomo

Popular culture has it that by approaching the holes, the sounds of the re -disclose of the infernal river Stigi can be heard and that we can perceive sulfur smell coming directly from hell.

Excuse me so much Luca but I send you some images of the carousel again that did not be fine to replace those already sent.


Photo references:

Column holes


Basilica St. Ambrogio

Photo 122524944 © Antanovich1985 /


Devil's column

PH: G.Dallorto, Attribion, via Wikimedia Commons


Photo Milan

Photo 61042008 © Xantana /

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