The Patron Saint of Verona, Verona
The magnificent look of the apse and Romanesque bell-tower of the basilica of San Zeno. The roof and the apse were rebuilt in the Gothic period.
The weathered Veronese stone of which the basilica is built has a warm golden tone, and the restrained lines of the pillars, the columns, the cornices and the gallery with its double windows give the whole facade an ar of harmonious elegance.
This picture was taken from Via Pontiqua.
This is the Main Chapel. The frescos of the triumphal arch and the apse have been attribuited to Martino da Verona (end of 14th c.) Wooden altair-piece "Maesta della Vergine" by Andrea Mantegna, a masterpiece of North Italian Renaissance painting. Some of art works here are of unique value. San Zeno is definatelly one of those churches which has to be observed and explored with extreme attention.
Crypt. What we see today, a real forest of columns, is the result of the rearrangementof the tenth century crypt done between the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century. The venerated body of St. Zeno, the Patron Saint of Verona, is preserved in the urn in the apse.
The style of the sculptural decorations in the form of telamons, months, prophets, zoomorphous and vegetal elementsis mature and essential. Polychrome lunette portraying Saint Zeno receiving the homage of the citizens. Frieze depicting scenes from the Saint's life.
Bronze doors, the real masterpiece, obtained assembling doors of different periods and the work of different unknown artists.
The interior of the basilica is a must see. Renaissance Altar was designed in 1520 by F. Torbido, votive frescos and paintings of different Artists and time, Main Chapel built in Gothic style between 1386 and 1398 by Giovanni and Nicolo di Ferrara, Laughing San Zeno polychrome statue by an unknown Artist from 13th century....
In the left apse stands an impressive statue of Saint Zeno. It is made of polychrome marble by an unknown sculptor of the early 14th century, and is much loved by the people of Verona. The sculpture is known as "The Luughing Saint".
The entrance to the cloister is from the left aisle of the basilica. The effect is one of spaciousnes, as the covered walks surround a large open grassy square.
On the eastern side of the Chapel of St. Benedict, once probably a Roman hypogeum, or underground burial chamber, decorated with frescoes by the School of Giotto.
Above the arcades of the cloister you can see the red 12th century tower of the ancient monastery.
My camera have captured the bell tower of the basilica from the angle under the arcades of the Oratorio of San Benedetto. The beautiful Romanesque belltower from the first half of the 12th century is of superbly masterful design.
The arches on two of the opposing sides of the cloister are ogival, while those on the other two sides are rounded. Slim double columns support the arches.
The eye f the visitor is immediately captured by the great engraved rose window, called the wheel of fortune, by Briolotto.
The Porch was designed by Maestro Nicolo (1138). Simple and elegant architectural structure, resting on two styloforus lions.
The Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore ranks with the Amphitheatre as one of Verona's most important monuments.
On the other side of the Basilica stands the red 12th century tower of the ancient monastery mentioned by Dante in Canto 18 of his "Purgatory".
The early building underwent some changes in the 6th century, and some historians think the chapel of San Benedetto, still to be seen in the cloister, to be part of this early church.
On the left side of the picture there is a charming open shrine with piers and columns projects from one of the sides of the cloister, which also houses stone fragments and tombs.
The original nucleus of the complex has been indentified in the church and convent that rose on the Roman and later early Christian buring ground near the Via Gallica. The church and the convent had been built on the spot where the Saint had been buried, in order to preserve his relics and honor his memory.
The Basilica of San Zeno is without any doubt one of the most suggestive and better preserved example of Romanesque architecture in the whole of Northern Italy. What strikes the visitor most is the warm chromatism of the facade, due to the alternated use of tufa stone and bricks.