The Temple of Victory (Tempio della Vittoria), known also as the Memorial to Fallen Milanese Soldiers (Sacrario dei Caduti Milanesi), is a monument in Milan, located in Largo Agostino Gemelli, near the apse area of the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio.
The monument, dedicated to the memory of the Milanese soldiers who fell during the First World War, was built on a project by the architect Giovanni Muzio, with the collaboration of Alberto Alpago Novello, Tomaso Buzzi, Ottavio Cabiati and Gio Ponti, between 1927 and 1930.
According to tradition, the memorial is located on a site where, in ancient times, there was the cemetery of the martyrs of the early Christian era, to which martyred soldiers of the First World War relate.
The monument was inaugurated on November 4, 1928, with a great ceremony, in which the Prince Emanuele Filiberto, Duke of Aosta and commander of the Italian Third Army during the First World War, read the text of the Victory Bulletin to the huge crowd present, composed mainly of veterans from 1918.
Severely damaged during the heavy bombings of Milan from 1943, the monument was rebuilt after the war. It was expanded in 1973 with the large memorial which develops on three underground floors, designed by Mario Baccini, which contains ten thousand names of the fallen soldiers and where, in a crypt, the remains of the Milanese fallen rest.
The eight sides of the monument are oriented in the direction of the eight gates of Milan, to remember the ways through which the soldiers left the city to join the Italian troops.
The four main sides, with four large round arches, bear symbols and sculptural groups dedicated to each of the four years of the war. The four secondary sides, on the other hand, symbolize the four natural elements – earth, water, fire, air – and are occupied by smaller arched niches surmounted by triangular gables.
A large bronze and gilded statue, four and a half meters in height, depicting Sant’Ambrogio trampling on the seven deadly sins, the work from 1928 of the sculptor Adolfo Wildt, is placed at the entrance of the mausoleum.
The colonnade along the axis of the monument indicates the main entrance to the memorial.
HOW TO GET THERE
The closest Metro station is Sant’Ambrogio, located about 500 meters away, on the Metro Line 2. The closest bus stop is located in Via Carducci, about 230 meters away, on the bus Line 94.