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The Legends of Sant'Ambrogio

Where the Basilica Sant'Ambrogio is?


The Legends


"The Column of the Devil"

In the square, on the left side of the basilica, outside the fence, there is a column, commonly known as the "Column of the Devil". It is a column of Roman times, brought here from another place.

The Column has two holes - according to the legend the Column was witness of a struggle between Sant'Ambrogio and the Devil. The evil one trying to pierce the Saint with horns but instead ended pushing them into the column. After trying for a long time to break free, the Devil was able to free himself and frightened, fled.

Popular tradition has it that the holes smell of sulfur and placing the ear to the stone you can hear the sounds of Hell. In fact this column was used for the coronation of the German emperors.

According of what Galvano Fiamma said, they swore on the missal, then received the iron crown and embraced this column: "When the King of the Romans want to receive the crown of the Kingdom of Italy in the Basilica Ambrosiana, the Emperor must go first to the marble column that is located at the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio and a conte of Angera must submit to the Emperor a missal. The Emperor must swear that he will be obedient to the Pope and the Roman Church in things temporal and spiritual. So the Archbishop or abbot of Sant'Ambrogio is crowned with the iron crown as King of Italy. Then ??the Emperor must embrace the straight column of marble that means the righteousness he will be straight. "


"The Snake of Moses"

On a granite column of ancient Roman times inside the Basilica stands the Snake of Moses, who escaped the iconoclastic wrath of King Ezechia. It is a bronze sculpture (formerly believed to be the original of Moses) donated by Emperor Basil II in 1007.

To the Snake are addressed prayers to ward off certain types of ailments and it is said that the end of the world will be announced by his descent from this column to reach the Valley of Jehoshaphat, the place of the Last Judgment.


Map of Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio


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