In fact, the church is the oldest building in Verona that has been preserved to this day. It was established in the 4th century, as a modest church, erected over the tomb of Zeno. Zeno was one of the first bishops of Verona and the patron of the city.
In the 9th century the old church was replaced by a larger church. But in the severe and famous earthquake that struck Verona in the 12th century, the Basilica of San Zeno was badly damaged. It is the same earthquake, incidentally, that destroyed parts of the city's Arena. Immediately after the earthquake the church was rebuilt - for the third time. The construction of the building this time began in 1045 and lasted about nine whole decades!
Since its establishment, the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore has served as the religious center of Verona. Between the walls of this church were married, according to the Shakespearean play named after them, Romeo and Juliet.
To the right of the church you can see the bell tower, dating to the 12th century. Also note the round rosette window decorating the church.
At the entrance to the elegant Romanesque church, you pass through a gate on its side. But note the bronze doors on the front gate and the unusual Romanesque reliefs on them, depicting various Biblical and secular scenes.
Inside the church, the inner space looks like a central hall with two wings, separated by a row of arches.
Notice the unusual wooden roof of the church. This roof is from the 14th century. At the aisles note the frescoes, created in the 13th to 15th centuries.
In the choir area you will see a marble statue from the 14th century. The statue is of St. Zeno, the Bishop of Verona and the one after whom the church is named.
No less special is the design of the tall and beautiful altar, on which you can see a Triptych, a three-part piece.
The wonderful Triptych on this impressive altar is called the Madonna and the Child with Angels and Saints. It was created by the artist Andrea Mantegna in the 15th century and is considered the Holy Mother, surrounded by various Christian saints.