out of the rubble bards crypts
Famous for its grand bronze-looking doors (more accurately, brass doors); and immortalized for its role as the real-life setting/inspiration for The Bard (William Shakespeare)’s marriage scene between Romeo and Juliet in its crypt is—San Zeno Maggiore Basílica, Verona, Italy.
A church in one form or another in the Romanesque architectural style has graced this spot since the 9th Century AD.
On these doors, forty-eight panels are nailed to two heavy spruce wing/valve backings 4.98 meters (16 feet) high each approximately 1.9 meters (6 feet) wide. Side note: Restorers believe that the original panels were embellished with color!
The doors are protected from the elements by massive cedar doors on the basilica’s western facade.
The left panel depicts selected New Testament narratives encouraging passersby to consider their segway through these doors, as a type of baptism. The right door/valve panels depict well-known Old Testament themes including the expulsion from Eden, Noah’s ark, and King Nebuchadnezzar II (closeup details below).
These doors are an architectural mashup of styles, periods, and craftwork that modern experts have been hard-pressed to date, despite the copious quills of ink spilled on the topic.
The experts’ best guess has been to suggest that some work on the doors pre-dated the 1117 AD major seismic events that rocked the area resulting in considerable loss/damage to the basilica and to several door panels.
Door closeups are below:
Trivia: In 1911 a young man still at his studies at university took a two-week vacation in Italy.
He recorded in his personal journal (discovered after his passing), in vibrant detail, the first stop in his travels, San Zeno Maggiore Basilica, and his passage through these doors.
His descriptions of his two-week European vacation still stand today as an example of the burgeoning brilliance and style of the poet who much of the world will come to know as T. S. Eliot.
Wider angle, San Zeno Maggiore Basílica below:
Written for #ThursdayDoors – hosted by – Dan Antion @ NoFacilities.