Bramante Cloisters

Largo Fra Agostino Gemelli, 1. (Open Map)


The cloisters designed by Bramante, amongst the architect's most important works, are part of what was once the monastery of Sant’Ambrogio, now the location of the Catholic University.

The structure was built on the site of preceding buildings constructed by the Benedictine monks. It was designed by Bramante, and commissioned by Ludovico il Moro.The initial design comprised a square area subdivided into four cloisters, but only half of it was actually built. The first cloister, in Ionic style, was built under the supervision of Cristoforo Solari in 1513, and the second, in Doric style, was built from 1620 to 1630. The monastery was suppressed in 1797, and from then on it was converted to a number of different uses, including that of a garrison, and it underwent extensive modifications. Later, in 1932, it became the premises for the Catholic University.Today, the cloisters are brought to life by the university students. Many people use this exceptional architectural context as a place in which to study or to take a break.