The Archbishop's palace, built in about 1170, close to the Royal Palazzo, in Piazza Duomo, was the most important work requested by Carlo Borromeo who was a significant Italian cardinal.
The building, which had already been reorganised and enlarged at the end of the fifteenth century, started to be restructured in the second half of the sixteenth century according to the designs of the architect Pellegrino Tibaldi.
The courtyard, started in 1569 and completed, under the direction of Andrea Biffi, in 1604, is one of the first Pellegrinian works in the city of Milan and is split with an open gallery in two sections.
The compound of buildings, that surround and form the courtyard of the presbytery, were intended as the residences of the regular canons at the Duomo.
The facade, was then rebuilt by Giuseppe Piermarini at the end of the XVIII, 1784 to be more precise, by appointment of the Archbishop Filippo Visconti.
The well-known architect, who had to encompass and adapt his style to the pre-existing architectural components, opened the new straight windows, with squared off cornices and simple brackets on the ground floor and changed those of the upper floor to a triangular pediment, he still maintained the Tibaldi gateway that still gave a tone of plasticity to the construction.