Scaliger Tombs, Verona

The Scaliger family had their church close to the Town Hall near what is now the Piazza dei Signori, and they placed their cemetery outside. The small church of Santa Maria Antica dates back to the 7th century and has a very striking interior. The Scaliger family ruled Verona from the 13th to the late 14th century. The church is a splendid example of Romanesque architecture and is faced with alternating bands of stone and brick, with a fine small bell tower and a conical tiled roof. The tombs are located in the courtyard of the church and are separated from the street by a wall surmounted with iron grilles.

  • Over the side entrance is the tomb of Cangrande I della Scala (died 1329). This was the first tomb to be built. The sarcophagus of the prince lies under a Gothic canopy, highly decorated,on which the figure lies on his funeral couch. This monument is best known for its equestrian figure of Cangrande at the top of the pyramid roof which is unusual for its smile. (this is now a copy as the original is housed in the Castelvecchio museum)
  • The second tomb is that of Mastino II, built between 1340-1350, it stands next to the entrance gate. It stands on columns and is enclosed with the statues of four Virtues at the corners. Like the tomb of Cangrande it is crowned with an equestrian statue of the prince.
  • The tomb of Cansignorio (died 1375)  is the most richly decorated, the work having been done by Bonino da Campione and Gaspare Broaspini. The intricate sculptures and reliefs on the sides of the sarcophagus are quite remarkable. Again there is the equestrian sculpture.
  • The tomb of Alberto II dates to 1301 and unlike the others has only a sarcophagus, although like the others it is richly decorated.
  • Finally the tomb of Giovanni is built into the wall of the church. The Scaliger Tombs are the supreme achievement of Gothic art in Verona.

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