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San Giuseppe, Milan

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Built between 1607-30 on the site of the ancient oratory of San Giuseppe, the church is considered the masterpiece of the 18th c. architect, Francesco Maria Ricchino, and the most representative Baroque church in the city. Externally the façade is on two levels marked by pilasters and columns. A large pediment with a balcony window stands on the tall base framing the majestic entrance surrounded by statues (by Giovanni Piazza and Francesco Somaini in 1800). Behind the façade, the octagonal body of the church is flanked by a central, apsed chamber. Within the octagon, reduced to a square with rounded corners, columns and arches support the dome. The square body of the high altar (perhaps added later) stands on the other side of a triumphal arch opposite the entrance. The altar is flanked by chapels and decorated with canvases by Giulio Cesare Procaccini and Melchiorre Gherardini.