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Museum of the Pietà Rondanini
The new museum, created inside the ancient Ospedale Spagnolo (Spanish Hospital) in the Castello Sforzesco, is a fascinating space that has never opened to the public before and is exclusively dedicated to Michelangelo’s last masterpiece.
The old hospital was built for the soldiers of the Castello’s Spanish garrison in the second half of the 1500s, a few years after the time that Michelangelo spent in Rome working on the Pietà Rondanini.
The Pietà, incredible masterpiece and last unfinished creation by the master, is a dramatically singular work conveying a sense that transcends beauty as it is an expression of human love: in a single block of marble it contains the figures of Christ and the Virgin, almost merged in a single embrace.
The sculpture is so perfectly placed in its new location that a visitor to the new Pieta Rondanini Museum could almost believe that the Pietà and the rooms of the Spanish Hospital had been waiting for each other. For centuries, however, the artist’s final masterpiece was relocated from one place to another, almost forgotten, until 1952 when the sculpture was purchased by the municipality of Milan and exhibited at the reopening of the Musei del Castello after World War II in 1956.
As one of the outstanding works by Michelangelo, the Pieta Rondanini represents the master’s spiritual testament as he was sculpturing the features until a few days before his death in 1564. The unfinished work was found in his home in Rome but all traces of it were lost for many years until it reappeared in the home of the Marquis Giuseppe Rondinini (this is the correct name) a distinguished Roman collector.
From there it underwent a long succession of changes of ownership to finally find its rightful place today with the creation of this new tailor-made museum in which its iconic and dramatic strength emerges intensely.
The base that supports the Pietà Rondanini rests on an anti-vibrational and anti-seismic platform constructed by an important Japanese company in the field of seismic engineering. The effectiveness of the platform was verified by a series of laboratory tests on the vibrating table at the Italian Experimental Electronic Centre in Seriate. A rudimentary replica with the mass physical characteristics of the Pietà Rondanini was made in order to test the platform.
All these phases were controlled by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, technical and experimental section at the Politecnico di Milano with the Institute for Conservation and Restoration of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism.
The ticket comprises visits to all the Castello museums
• Admission € 5
• Reductions € 3
• Combined ticket for the municipal museums (duration 3 days): € 12
• Free admission every day during the last hour of opening and every Tuesday from 14:00
A maximum of thirty people at a time are permitted entry to the new Pietà Rondanini - Michelangelo museum: you may experience queues because reservations are not available for individual visitors.
In the case of a large turnout of visitors access will be restricted to a maximum time of twenty minutes for organized groups and ten minutes for individual visitors
Reservations for groups:
with time slots, only for organised groups (minimum of 20 people to a maximum of 30).
Please note that groups with prior bookings have precedence over groups without reservations and individual visitors.