The Victor Emanuel II Gallery located on the square in front of the Duomo Cathedral is one of the first shopping malls in the world. There are about 30 boutiques of the most prestigious fashion houses are in it. Milan is the capital of Italian fashion and design and it is there that you can see all the latest things.
The construction of the gallery began in 1865. Over 175 architects took part in the competition and the project of Giuseppe Mengoni was selected. He proposed to build four covered cross-shaped galleries with a huge octagonal dome in the middle. The construction was finished in 1877 and the gallery was named after King Victor Emmanuel II who united Italy in 1869.
The Victor Emanuel Gallery has the shape of a Latin cross. A dome of steel and glass rises above the center where the galleries converge, at a height of 47 meters. 353 tons of cast iron were used to create all the gallery vaults.
In 1911 four mosaic panels of four parts of worlds were laid out under the dome: Europe, Asia, America and Africa. On the floor under the dome the mosaic of the coat of arms of the Savoy dynasty was laid out. Since 2015, tourists can walk on the roof of the Victor Emanuel Gallery. From there you can have beautiful views of the Duomo Square.
The architect Giuseppe Mengoni did not see his creation. Just a day before the grand opening of the gallery, he fell off the scaffolding and crashed. Now the mosaic of the coat of arms of Turin with a bull is on the place where he fell. There is a belief that if you step on the bull eggs and turn around three times, then three wishes will come true.