Basilica of San Zeno, Verona

Verona, Italy

Basilica of San Zeno, Verona

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The Basilica di San Zeno (also known as San Zeno Maggiore or San Zenone) is a minor basilica of Verona, Northern Italy constructed between 967 and 1398 AD. Its fame rests partly on its Romanesque 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 around 371-380. 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.




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