Date(s) - 14 Sep, 2023
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
The “Nivola” is a strange machinery with ancient origins (apparently designed by Leonardo da Vinci) and is used every year on 14 September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, for the Rite of the Holy Nail.
Thanks to a complex system of winches, this mechanical lift transports the archbishop and three canons 45 metres up to the vault of the apse, where the relic of the Cross is kept. Suspended above the high altar, in fact, attached to the keystone, is the cathedral’s most precious relic, the Nail of the True Cross which, according to tradition, was found by St Helena and used as the bit on Constantine’s horse. Although suspended very high up, a red light makes it visible from all over the cathedral. According to tradition, two other nails of the True Cross are found in the Corona Ferrea in the “Duomo di Monza” and in the “Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme” in Rome.