Basilica of San Zeno

Verona, Italy

The Basilica di San Zeno name rests partly on its architecture and partly upon the tradition that its crypt was the place of the marriage of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It stands adjacent to a Benedictine abbey, both dedicated to St Zeno of Verona.

St. Zeno died in 380. According to legend, at a site above his tomb along the Via Gallica, the first small church was erected by Theodoric the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. Erection of the present basilica and associated monastery began in the 9th century, when Bishop Ratoldus and King Pepin of Italy attended the translation of the saint's relics into the new church. This edifice was damaged or destroyed by a Magyar invasion in the early 10th-century, at which time Zeno's body was moved to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Matricolare: on May 21, 921, it was returned to its original site in the crypt of the present church. In 967, a new Romanesque edifice was built by Bishop Raterius, with the patronage of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor.

On January 3, 1117, the church, along with most of the city, was damaged by an earthquake; the church was restored and enlarged in 1138. Work was completed in 1398 with the reconstruction of the roof and of the Gothic-style apse.

Attached to the basilica is an abbey was erected in the 9th century over a pre-existing monastery. Of the original structure, destroyed in the Napoleonic Wars, only a large brick tower and the cloisters survive. It had originally another tower and the abbot's palace. For long time the abbey was the city's official residence of the Holy Roman Emperors. In the 1980s a restoration discovered frescoes from the 12th to 15th centuries.

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Details

Founded: 9th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

John Carey (16 months ago)
Beautiful Romanesque church dedicated to the patron saint of Verona. The bronze doors are a gothic masterpiece.
Robert-Jan Maycock (16 months ago)
Haven't yet been in but I am told its lovely. The square in front is host to a number of lovely bars and restaurants. In the summer it also hosts a Sunday flea market.
María Querejeta Marras (18 months ago)
San Zenon is one of the most beautiful churches of Verona. It is not far from the city centre but far enough not to meet so many tourists. It overlooks an amazing square with lots of restaurants of everykind.
Trinidad Gelos (18 months ago)
It's absolutely worth it to visit the Basilica di San Zeno if you visit Verona. It's not that impressive outside but once inside it's incredibly breathtaking. The price is 3€ for 1 church and 6€ for the biggest 4 churches in Verona. I recommend buying the 4 churches because they are worth it.
Giuseppe De Maso (2 years ago)
Amazing church. Unusual and unique, truly a gem off the main tourist routes. The highlight of our visit in Verona.
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