Basilica di San Zeno a Verona
According to the tradition the crypt of the Basilica di San Zeno was the place of the marriage of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. San Zeno was the eighth bishop of Verona. The basilica dedicated to him is one of the masterpieces of Romanesque art in Italy. Like many other churches in Verona, San Zeno is mainly built of mixed brick and stone in alternate bands: four or five courses of fine red brick lie between bands of hard cream coloured limestone or marble, forming broad stripes of red and white all over the wall. A similarly variegated effect in red and white is produced by building the arches of windows and doors with alternating voussoirs in brick and marble. The facade has a 13th century, great rose window, grande rosone (also referred to as a Catherine window after Saint Catherine of Alexandria who was sentenced to be executed on a spiked wheel). Known as the Wheel of Fortune Ruota della Fortuna, with a simple tracery of spokes radiating from its centre, it has sculptures by Brioloto representing six human figures, the king on top, the man in despair at the bottom. Lines engraved on the outer circle read:
En ego Fortuna moderor mortalibus una,
Elevo, depono, bona cunctis vel mala dono
Induo nudatos, denudo veste paratos.
In me confidit si quis, derisus abibit.
Ecco che io Fortuna governo sola i mortali
Elevo, depongo, dò a tutti i beni o i mali.
vesto chi è nudo, spoglio chi è vestito.
Se qualcuno confida in me, se ne andrà deriso
"Behold, I, Fortune, I alone bestow on mortals,
I raise, depose; to all I give or good or evil gifts.
I clothe the naked, despoil from those in garments clad.
If anyone in me confides, derided will he go from hence."
- The main door lintel of the Basilica di San Zeno a Verona (1138) has the labours of the months but no Zodiac.
- West Portal Lions - The porch of the church is from the 12th century with stone lions at the base of its columns acting as guardians of the church. They are believed to be symbols of:
- Animals of the Earth
- Animals of the Sky
- 3 January 1117 - The church was damaged on the in an earthquake which also destroyed parts of the Roman Arena.
- January 1460 - Andrea Mantegna received payment for the San Zeno Altarpiece Pala di San Zeno.
- 1797 - Napoleonic suppression. The three predellas of the altarpiece stripped by the French.
- 1798 - Altarpiece installed in the Louvre Museum in Paris