San Simpliciano

    The Basilica
    One of the four basilicas founded by Ambrose, archbishop of Milan, in the 4th century, San Simpliciano was at that time outside the city walls, at a location notorious for prostitution. For this reason, Ambrose dedicated the church to virgins, and named it Basilica Virginum. After Ambrose’s death, it was finished by his successor Simplicianus, who is buried here.
    The building is remarkable above all for the wonderful atmosphere of peace produced by an interior that has remained much the same for 1700 years or so.
    Some roof tiles bearing the mark of Lombard king Agilulf show that repairs were made in the years 590-615 A.D. Outside, the lower parts of the walls, in enormous ashlar blocks, are original late 4th century, while much of the brickwork (not all) can be dated to rebuilding in the 12th century, in the Romanesque style, when the original walls were preserved to a height of 22 meters.
    The frescos
    The apse includes a fine fresco of the Coronation of the Virgin by Bergognone, 1508.  There are two lovely organs with frescoed decoration