In 1801 Napoleon ordered the demolition of the fortifications for...read more
In 1801 Napoleon ordered the demolition of the fortifications for Milan's Castello Sforzesco. This left a large space for the piazza Sempione, now a suitable site for a monumental construction to serve as a triumphal entrance to the city. Begun in 1807 in honour of Napoleon, the arch was not finished until 1838 for the occasion of the coronation of Ferdinando I as King of Lombardy-Venetia. The work of neoclassical architect Luigi Cagnola, inspired by Settimo Severo's arch in Rome, the structure features three colossal Corinthian columns with an arch made of granite from Baveno and adorned with marble from Crevola di Ossola. It is surmounted by the famous 'sestiga della pace' -- the work of Abbondio Sangiorio -- and by four statues of victorious men on horseback.