The Scaligeri Tombs, Verona
There is a small church, called Santa Maria Antica just about 50 meters from Piazza Dante and in front of that church you will see the Arche Scaligere,some really interesting tombs of the Scaligers, a dynasty of noble governors, who made Verona sucessful in trading and economy after the 13th century.
The oldest of these various tombs dates back to the year 1329.
The solid Iron-fence around the Scalligerie-tombs dates back to the 14th century and is still the one that you see today.
I took my picture through that fence and when you click on my picture, you may see the fine details of one of the 3 pyramids that are part of the tomb.
Inside the church there are more tombs in the Krypta, but these in the outside are simply the best and most interesting.
Be there in time ! S.Maria Antica is open to the public :
daily between 07.30a.m. and 12.30p.m.
plus 03.30p.m. till 07.00p.m.
The Scaliger Tombs (Italian: Arche scaligere) is a group of five Gothic funerary monuments, celebrating the Scaliger family, who ruled in Verona from the 13th to the late 14th century.
The tombs are located in a court of the church of Santa Maria Antica, separated from the street by a wall with iron grilles. Built in Gothic style, they are a series of tombs, most of which are in the shape of a small temple and covered by a baldachin. They are considered to be one of the most outstanding examples of Gothic art.
The Scala/Scaligeri family ruled Verona and the surrounding area during the 1300s. Their tombs are in a courtyard next to the Santa Maria Antica church in the historic city center of Verona. A few of the tombs have very elaborate arched gothic monuments that you can see from the street as you pass by. The tombs are surrounded by a high wrought iron fence, so you have to see them from the street through the fence, which can make taking photos of them a bit of challenge. The exception is one tomb which is located above the side entrance to the church.
If it hadn't been for my travel guide, I don't think I would have been able to guess that the amazing group of monuments sitting next to the church of Santa Maria Antica is in fact a cemetery. "Arche Scaligere" contains the tombs of five members of the Scaligeri family; the first one to be built was that of Cangrande I della Scala, who died in 1329. The five tombs have an impressive Gothic design, topped in some cases with huge ornamented canopies. There's an iron gate that goes around the tombs so taking a good picture can be quite tricky, but the site is beautiful nonetheless. Right next to it visitors have access to Santa Maria Antica, a small church dating back to 1185, which used to be the Scaligeri's private chapel.
The Scaligeri family members are entombed at Arche Scalgeri, in a little square by the Municipal Council building. Alongside is a small church called Santa Maria Antica, where they held the final ceremonies, and today you can enter and is has antiquities of the times 700 years ago. The three arches were built for the main three famed ones, and Congrande (big Dog from 1329) was the most known. The biggest tomb in the front is of Mostino II from 1340. Each tomb is capped with a statue of themselves. The wrought iron fence is from mid 1300's. The tombs numerous and artistic Gothic canopies are to cherish in memory coming back home with. It is coming into the Piazza Dei Signori area for location. Santa Maria Antiqua, is also an exhibition place for special showings and holds other crypts. The wrought iron fence with the family coat of arms is also a site to behold. The tombs became a part of the life in late 14th century and the outside ones are three, with others in the church.
Open 9:30-19:30 Jan through September for inside.
All the tombs are real masterpieces – many in the shape of a sarcophagus with a statue of the person buried, raised on columns, ornamented and canopied.
The burial place of the Scala family was built outside their church, the Church of Santa Maria Antica founded in the 7th century.
located next to the church of santa maria antica are the tombs of the scaligeri. the scaligeri family were the rulers of verona in the middle ages. what makes these tombs interesting is that they are located outside and not in the church.
The Arche Scaligari or tombs are deeply impressive Gothic funerary monuments (and are, apparently, 'up there' on the list of most impressive tombs of their kind in Italy). They are 'attached' to the 12th century Romanesque church, Santa Maria Antica. The Scaligari family were the ruthless 13th century rulers of the Veronese State, responsible, however, for much of what we see today in the older part of the city.
Tomb builded mainly in the 14th century of the Scala family members :
-Members like "Cangrande I della Scala", the only tomb not within the fences and open for the public.
Above the entrance to the family church you will find a gothic canopy, supported by colums and topped by a pyramid shaped roof.The tomb is decorated with sculptures in high relief. On the top of a couch lies the statue of the prince Cangrande.
On top of the tomb, a smiling horseman in vigerous and realistic style
The sculptor of the tomb is unknown.
The sculptors of the other tombs are known
The location of the tombs is rather hidden in a narrow street and you will walk by without noticing if you have no guide
This is a collection of tombs of the della Scala family, who ruled Verona in the latter part of the 13th and early 14th centuries. Like many of the rulers of this period of Italian history, the della Scala were ruthless rulers, but at the same time were patrons of the arts. There are three main tombs, each surmounted with grand carved gothic statues, and I believe 6 others, all surrounded by a high wrought iron fence. Both the fence and some of the statuary repeats the family motive - a ladder.
There was a lot of restoration work going on in this part of the city during our visit, and the nearby Palazzo della Ragione with its famous staircase was closed.
The Scala family, also referred as "Scaligeri" were the lords of Verona in the middle age. Their monumental tombs are known as "Arche Scaligere" , surmounted by rich Gothic canopies works.
Every monumental tomb is topped by the statue of the lord resting in it.
recently, scientist opened the grave of Cangrande, the famous Scaligero that Dante placed in its Divina Commedia, and examined the body, to clear if some ancient rumors were exact.
The body was found in good condition (well, for its 7 centuries) and even with remains of the robes.
But modern laboratory analisys were able to determine that he was really murdered with "digitalis" (an herb affecting heart rithm) like someone suspected at the time. His fisician is the suspect n. #1, but he doesn't risks a trial
Over the side-door of the church Santa Maria Antica there is the Tomb of Cangrande I della Scala, who died in 1329. This also serves as a porch and is one of the best examples of 14th century sculpture in Verona. (The buriel palace of the Scala family is decorated by the leading sculptors of the 14th century, Bonino di Campione and Giovanni di Rigino.
The statue of the dead prince lies on the top of his tomb on a couch.
The famous monument is unique, however, because of the statue of Cangrande on horseback which stands on top of its pyramid roof. The statue is the masteroiece of an anonymous sculptor of the 14th century known as the "Mastro delle Arche Scaligere". This sculptor has portrayed the smiling horseman in vigorous and realistc style. The original statue is now in the Castelvecchio Museum.
The monument to Cangrande is the only one which bears the emblem of the Scala family.
Just down from Piazza dei Signori lie a profusion of bizarre looking tombs of the one-time rulers of Verona - the Sacligeri. Over the entrance of the small Romanesque church of Santa Maria Antica, is the impressive tomb of Cangrande I (died 1329), surmounted by an equestrian statue of the ruler, a copy of the original which is now in Castelvecchio.
The other Scaligeri tombs are next to the church, behind a wrought-iron fence which incorporates the ladder emblem of the families original name (della Scala, meaning "of the steps"). Towering above the fance are the tombs of Mastino II (died 1351) and Cansignorio (died 1375), splendidly decorated with a profusion of tiny Gothic spires. Other family members lie within a series of plainer tombs which stand nearer the church.
As said in the Castelvecchio tip, the Scaligeri's were the most important family in Verona in the 13-14th century. Most famous personalities are Cangrande ("Big dog") I and II who ruthlessly came to power and held it, but once they got power, it seems they were quite fair. The Scaligeri's also invited famous people to Verona which blossomed. Dante was for instance a guest of Cangrande I in 1301-4 and dedicated the Paradise part of his "Divina Comedia" to him.
As for the tombs, they are famous Gothic masterpieces and each of them has sainted soldiers around to guard the dead. Next to the tombs is also the little Santa Maria Antica Church which was originates from the 600s.