MIlan Duomo

As with many places of worship throughout Europe, mainly in the major cities that can afford them, there museums that house and protect original paintings, relics, chalices and vestments, stained glass and, especially, statuary from the centuries when they were part of the original structures. One such museum is connected to the Duomo in Milan. Due to time and the elements, many if not most of the statues and gargoyle spouts that adorned the intricate facade of this cathedral have been replaced by copies, while the originals are maintained and kept safe in the museum. In Milan, the museum is part of an excavation that revealed earlier, ancient churches and baptistries over which the Duomo arose. It's thrilling to see very old mosaic floors and the walls of these earlier structures. There are also wooden models of the earliest versions of the Duomo, before Gothic exuberance hit its prime. Much to see, but worth visiting its cool, quiet interior away from the crowds and heat in the nearby square.