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(Milan Obrenović) (mĭl`än ōbrĕ`nəvĭch), 1854–1901, prince (1868–82) and king (1882–89) of Serbia; grandnephew of Miloš Obrenović. He succeeded his cousin Michael Obrenović as prince. He was educated in Paris, and a regency, which undertook constitutional reform in 1869, ruled for him until 1872. Under Russian influence he declared war (1876) on the Ottoman Empire in support of the rebellion in Bosnia and Herzegovina (see Russo-Turkish WarsRusso-Turkish Wars.
The great eastward expansion of Russia in the 16th and 17th cent., during the decline of the Ottoman Empire, nevertheless left the shores of the Black Sea in the hands of the Ottoman sultans and their vassals, the khans of Crimea.
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). At the Congress of Berlin (1878) he secured Austrian support and obtained European recognition of the full independence of Serbia from the Ottoman Empire. In 1882 he took the title king of Serbia after signing a secret treaty granting Austria considerable influence. Heavy taxation, his pro-Austrian policy, his scandalous private life, and his unsuccessful campaign (1885) against Bulgaria aroused bitter opposition. After proclaiming (1889) a liberal constitution, he abdicated in favor of his son, AlexanderAlexander
(Alexander Obrenović) , 1876–1903, king of Serbia (1889–1903), son of King Milan. He succeeded on his father's abdication. Proclaiming himself of age in 1893, he took over the government, abolished (1894) the relatively liberal constitution of 1889,
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 (Alexander Obrenović), and went abroad. He returned in 1897 and became commander in chief of the army but resigned upon his son's marriage to Draga Mašin.


(mĭlăn`, –än`), Ital. Milano, Lat. Mediolanum, city (1991 pop. 1,369,231), capital of Lombardy and of Milan prov., N Italy, at the heart of the Po basin. Because of its strategic position in the Lombard plain, at the intersection of several major transportation routes, it has been since the Middle Ages an international commercial, financial, and industrial center. Today Milan is Italy's second largest city after Rome and its economic heart. It has the highest per capita income in Italy. Manufactures include textiles, clothing, machinery, chemicals, electric appliances, printed materials, motor vehicles, airplanes, and rubber goods. The city has a large construction industry, and it is one of the most important silk markets in Europe.

Points of Interest

The most striking feature of the city is the Duomo, the large, white-marble cathedral (1386–1813), which shows traces of many styles (especially Gothic). It is elaborately ornamented, with 135 pinnacles and more than 200 marble statues. A statue of the Madonna is on the highest pinnacle (354 ft/108 m). Other points of interest in Milan include Brera Palace and Picture Gallery (17th cent.), which includes major works by Mantegna, Bellini, Piero della Francesca, and Raphael; the Castello Sforzesco (15th cent., with 19th-century additions), which houses a museum of art; the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (1465–90), containing the famous fresco, the Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci; the Basilica of Sant' Ambrogio (founded in the 4th cent., rebuilt in the 11th–12th cent.); the Ambrosian Library, which houses a rich collection of paintings; the Church of Sant' Eustorgio (9th cent.); the Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology; the gallery of modern art; and the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, with paintings by Boticelli, Pollaiuolo, Mantegna, and Piero della Francesca. Long a center of music, Milan has a conservatory and a famous opera house, Teatro alla Scala (opened in 1778). Between the Duomo and La Scala is the 130-year-old Galleria, an enclosed four-story glass-roofed arcade that contains shops and eateries and is a popular gathering place. The city also has three universities and a polytechnic institute.


Probably of Celtic origin, Milan was conquered by Rome in 222 B.C. In later Roman times it was the capital (A.D. 305–402) of the Western Empire and the religious center of N Italy. In 313 Constantine I issued the Edict of Milan, which granted religious toleration. From 374 to 379 the city's bishop was St. Ambrose, known for the liturgy he wrote and for his eloquence. Milan was severely damaged by the Huns (c.450) and again by the Goths (539) and was conquered by the LombardsLombards
, ancient Germanic people. By the 1st cent. A.D. the Lombards were settled along the lower Elbe. After obscure migrations they were allowed (547) by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I to settle in Pannonia and Noricum (modern Hungary and E Austria).
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 in 569.

In the 12th cent. it became a free commune and gradually gained supremacy over the cities of Lombardy. From the 11th to the 13th cent. Milan suffered from internal warfare between rich and poor, from the Guelph and Ghibelline strife, and from the enmity of rival cities, which assisted Emperor Frederick I in destroying it (1163). As a member of the Lombard League, Milan later contributed to the defeat of Frederick I at Legnano (1176). The city's independence was recognized in the Peace of Constance (1183). In the 13th cent. Milan lost its republican liberties; first the Torriani, then the ViscontiVisconti
, Italian family that ruled Milan from the 13th cent. until 1447. In the 12th cent. members of the family received the title of viscount, from which the name is derived.
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 (1277) became its lords. Galeazzo Visconti received (1395) the title of duke of Milan from the emperor, and under him the duchy became one of the most important states in Italy. After the death of the last Visconti (1447) the SforzaSforza
, Italian family that ruled the duchy of Milan from 1450 to 1535. Rising from peasant origins, the Sforzas became condottieri and used this military position to become rulers in Milan. The family governed by force, ruse, and power politics.
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 became dukes of Milan. The city flourished until it became involved in the Italian WarsItalian Wars,
1494–1559, series of regional wars brought on by the efforts of the great European powers to control the small independent states of Italy. Renaissance Italy was split into numerous rival states, most of which sought foreign alliances to increase their
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 and passed under Spanish domination (1535).

At the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, Austrian rule of Milan was established (1713–96). Napoleon I made the city the capital of the Cisalpine Republic (1797) and of the kingdom of Italy (1805–14). In 1815 Milan again came under Austria. It was a leading center throughout the RisorgimentoRisorgimento
[Ital.,=resurgence], in 19th-century Italian history, period of cultural nationalism and of political activism, leading to unification of Italy. Roots of the Risorgimento
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; after five days of heroic fighting in 1848 the citizens of Milan succeeded in expelling the Austrians, who returned, however, a few months later. In 1859 the city was united with the kingdom of Sardinia. Its industrial importance grew after it was incorporated (1861) into Italy. In World War II Milan suffered widespread damage from Allied air raids; many significant buildings were damaged beyond repair. Milan was the site of the 2015 World Exposition.



(Milano), a city in northern Italy; administrative center of the region of Lombardy and Milan Province. One of Italy’s most important economic and cultural centers. Population, 1,725,700 (1972; exceeded only by Rome). Milan is situated in the central part of the Po plain, at the intersection of railroads and highways leading from passes through the Alps; it is linked by shipping canals with the Po River. The city has an international airport.

More than 50 percent of Milan’s working population is engaged in industry (constituting nearly 10 percent of Italy’s industrial work force). Of the city’s many branches of industry, machine building is of primary importance (production of equipment for the metallurgical industry; production of engines; automobile, aviation, and tractor industries; production of motorcycles, bicycles, farm machinery, and railroad rolling stock and equipment; machine-tool construction; instrument-making; and production of equipment for the electrical engineering, radio engineering; and armaments industries). Oil-refining, chemical, and rubber industries, as well as metallurgy (especially production of high-quality steels), are well developed. Milan also has textile, food, garment, leather footwear, printing, and other enterprises. The well-known Touring Club of Italy, which publishes geographic journals, guides, maps, atlases, and yearbooks is located in the city.

Located in Milan are the corporate headquarters of Italy’s leading monopolies (including the Montedison, Falk, SNIA-Viscosa, Breda, and Pirelli firms), numerous banks, and the commodities and stock exchanges. (A great deal of Italy’s trading and financial transactions is carried on in Milan.) The city has a number of institutions of higher learning (such as the University of Milan, the Polytechnic Institute, the Catholic University, the University of Commerce, a music conservatory, and the Academy of Fine Arts) and learned societies (Academy of Sciences and Letters). It is the site of the National Library, the Ambrosiana, the internationally famous La Scala Theater, and other theaters.


Milan was founded by the Insubres in the late fifth or early fourth century B.C. Beginning in 196 B.C. the city was under Roman rule (bearing the Latin name of Mediolanum); it became a major economic center of the Roman Empire. In the fourth century A.D. the city’s bishop was Ambrosius Mediolanensis. Under the Lombards, Milan was the residence of one of the dukes. In 801 it became the capital of the county of Milan; beginning in the late tenth century it was the center of an archbishopric. In the 11th and 12th centuries Milan became an important handicraft (weapons, silk, cloth) and trade center. The city was politically controlled by the archbishop and the feudal aristocracy. In the second half of the 11th century, Milan was one of the centers for the activities of the Patarines as a result of which a commune was established in 1097–98 (it had emerged as early as the mid-11th century). Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, whose authority Milan had refused to acknowledge in 1158, destroyed the city in 1162 after a long siege. Rebuilt with the aid of the Lombard League, Milan played an active role in routing the imperial troops in 1176 at Legnano. By the Peace of Constance of 1183, Milan’s rights as a commune were secured.

Social conflicts and the struggle of the noble families for power led to the establishment in Milan of the tyranny of the Visconti, under whom the city was made the capital of the extensive duchy of Milan (from 1395). At various times between 1450 and 1535, Milan was under the rule of the Sforza family. As a result of the Italian Wars of 1494–1559 the city became a Spanish possession (1535). In 1706, during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14), Milan was seized by Austria. Having been occupied in 1796 by Napoleonic troops, the city became the capital of the Cisalpine Republic. In 1802 it was made the capital of the Italian Republic, and in 1805 of the Kingdom of Italy. From 1815 to 1859, Milan was again under Austrian rule (as center of the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom). During the 1848–49 Revolution, as a result of the popular uprising of March 18–22 (Cinque Giornate, or The Five Days), the Austrian Army was expelled from the city. In August 1848 the Austrians occupied the city once again. In 1859 it was liberated from the Austrians (as a result of the Austro-Italo-French War of 1859) and, together with all of Lombardy, became part of the Kingdom of Sardinia, which, in 1861, formed the unified Kingdom of Italy. Milan became an important center of the labor movement. In 1882 the Italian Workers’ Party was founded in the city. In May 1898 a general strike of the workers of the city developed into barricade fighting between workers and troops. In 1920, Milan was one of the chief centers for the movement for “occupation of the factories.”

During World War II, Milan was one of the principal centers for the liberation struggle against the Italian fascists and the German fascists who had occupied Italy in 1943 (the National Committee for the Liberation of Northern Italy was located in the city). Beginning in March 1943 it was the site of the largest antifascist strikes. On Apr. 25, 1945, a general popular uprising began in the city, which, on the following day, was liberated.


Medieval Milan had an oval plan, with a radial network of streets; its center was the Piazza del Duomo. In the 16th century the walls erected by the Spanish became the city boundaries. There are some remains of Roman structures. Milan has many fine examples of Early Christian and Romanesque architecture, for example, the churches of San Lorenzo Maggiore (begun in the fourth century, rebuilt in the 11th and 16th centuries; mosaics belonging to the fourth and fifth centuries), Sant’ Ambrogio (begun in the ninth century, major construction in the 11th and 12th centuries; portico of the cloisters begun in 1492, architect Bramante), and Sant’ Eustorgio (12th and 13th centuries; Portinari Chapel, 1462–68, designed by Michelozzo, frescoes by V. Foppa). Noteworthy late medieval and Renaissance monuments include the Ragione Palace (1223–38), the Gothic Milan Cathedral (begun in 1386; architects A. degli Organi, F. degli Organi, G. A. Amadeo, C. Solari, and P. Tibaldi, and others; completed in 1856), the Castello Sforzesco (begun in 1450; architects Giovanni da Milano, Filarete, and Bramante; in the Sala delle Asse are frescoes based on sketches by Leonardo da Vinci; interiors reconstructed for museum, 1952–56, architectural firm of Belgiojoso, Peressutti, and Rogers), the Maggiore Hospital (begun in 1456, architects Filarete and G. Solari; completed in 1624, architect F. Richini), the churches of Santa Maria presso San Satiro (1479–83, architect Bramante; 19th-century facade) and Santa Maria delle Grazie (1466–97, architects G. Solari and Bramante; in the refectory is Leonardo da Vinci’s painting The Last Supper), and the Marino Palace (begun in 1557, architect G. Alessi). There are numerous baroque (Brera Palace, begun in 1651, architect F. Richini), rococo, and neoclassicist structures in Milan. The city was a center of neoclassicist architecture (La Scala Theater, 1778; Belgioiso Palace, 1773–81—architect G. Piermarini). In the mid-19th century, Milan began to outgrow its 16th-century boundaries and gradually merged with the suburbs.

In the 20th century, Milan has been the center for a number of progressive tendencies in Italian architecture. After the ratification of a general plan of development (1953), several residential areas experimental in character were constructed, primarily in the north (Comacina, Ca Grande Nord, and others). An attempt was made to create a new center (situated north of the previous center of the city), dominated by a group of skyscrapers (Pirelli headquarters, 1956–60, architects G. Ponti and A. Rosseli, engineer P. L. Nervi). Other noteworthy 20th-century structures are the Rustici House (1935, architects P. Lingeri and G. Terragni), the University of Commerce (1942, architect G. Pagano), pavilions of the Milan Exhibition (1950’s, architects L. Baldessari and others), and the Torre Velasca skyscraper (1956–58, Belgiojoso, Peressutti, and Rogers). Among the museums in Milan are the Pinacoteca di Brera, the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, the Poldi Pezzoli Museum (Italian schools of the 15th to 18th centuries), the Museum of the Cathedral, and the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Engineering.


Visconti, A. Storia di Milano, 2nd ed. Milan, 1952.
Bosisio, A. Storia di Milano. Milan, 1958.
Città di Milano (since 1883).
Romussi, C. Milano nei suoi monumenti, vols. 1–2, 3rd ed. Milan, 1912–13.
Aloi, R. Nuove architetture a Milano. Milan, 1959.


a city in N Italy, in central Lombardy: Italy's second largest city and chief financial and industrial centre; a centre of the Renaissance under the Visconti and Sforza families. Pop.: 1 256 211 (2001)