Quick Facts on San Zeno Maggiore
- Short URL
- Basilica of St. Zeno San Zeno Maggiore San Zeno Maggiore, Verona
- Piazza San Zeno Verona, Veneto
- Main date(s)
- 45.442545° N,
Description of San Zeno Maggiore
The grand west facade (c. 1135) of San Zeno is made of a warm tufa stone and brick. It centers on a large rose window known as the Ruota della Fortuna (Wheel of Fortune), created in 1217-25 by Maestro Brioloto and Adamino da San Giorgio.
The west portal dates from 1138 and is full of magnificent Romanesque sculpture, including two long reliefs of biblical and allegorial scenes stretching along the facade to either side.
The detached Romanesque campanile was begun in 1045 and completed in 1178. The wide battlemented tower to the north (left) of the church is the sole survivor of the 9th-century Benedictine monastery.
The floor plan of the church is long and relatively narrow, with three aisles supported on piers and columns and covered with a wooden roof. Typical of Romanesque pilgrimage churches, the choir at the east end is raised to make room for the crypt beneath.
The south apse is one of the oldest parts of the church (10th century), while the polygonal central apse is one of the newest (1385-98). The latter features ogival windows and engaged buttresses.
The crypt of San Zeno dates from the 13th century but is supported on columns from antiquity. It still contains the relics of St. Zeno, now contained in a modern sarcophagus, as well as the tombs of other saints and bishops.
The Romanesque cloister, dating from the 12th to 14th centuries, is entered from the north aisle of the church. It has small double columns of red marble and many tombs and monuments.
Off the cloister to the left is the Oratorio di San Benedetto (13th century, but possibly having Early Christian origins), which displays some ancient capitals.
October 27, 2011
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