1565: St Charles Borromeo and the Archiepiscopal Seminary
In 1564, at the height of Counter-Reformation, the Council of Trent introduces a great innovation to priests’ education: seminaries. The Archbishop of Milan –Charles Borromeo, the future St Charles– is among the first ones who implement it. He established Milan’s Archiepiscopal Seminary in the same year, the second oldest in the world. The next year, the seminary is transferred to the former Humiliati Monastery in Corso Venezia.
1569-1620: Birth of a baroque masterpiece
Upon the initiative of another great member of the Borromeo family —that Cardinal Federico made immortal by Italy’s flagship novelist, Alessandro Manzoni— the former monastery gradually transforms into a monumental building. The courtyard is supervised by the most prestigious architects of the time: Pellegrino Tibaldi, Aurelio Trezzi, and Fabio Mangone. In particular, Aurelio Trezzi designs the huge central court, featuring a side of some 56 metres (184 feet).