While Santa Maria della Grazie is mostly known as the home of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, the architecture of the structure itself is quite beautiful and worthy of attention in its own right. As a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, this elegant church has been exquisitely maintained and restored whenever necessary. Gorgeous both inside and out, Santa Maria della Grazie was designed using primarily gothic architecture yet is noticeably less grandiose than many of the period’s larger cathedrals.
The church and convent are over half of a millennia old and have survived some trying times over the centuries. One of the most devastating of these events was World War II, where, in August of 1943, British and American allied forces hit the church during a bombing raid, destroying a large portion of the rectory. Amazingly, however, the wall that holds The Last Supper survived and continues to be the church’s main source of tourism.
If a trip to Milan is in your future, chances are you will making a trip to this location just to view The Last Supper. However, when you are in or around the church itself, make sure to appreciate the beauty of the centuries-old architecture as well.