The origins of the Church of Santa Maria in Organo in Verona are lost in time and date back to the Lombard age, between the sixth and seventh centuries AD. Rapidly destroyed and rebuilt after the earthquake of 1117, was rebuilt at the turn of ‘500 by Benedictine monks who had been entrusted in 1444 by Pope Eugenius IV. Become one of the richest abbeys in the city was facing a side channel of the river Adige (today via Dead Underground Water) which was closed after a disastrous flood in the last years of the nineteenth century, decreeing unfortunately the end of some of the angles most characteristic of the old Veronetta.
The majestic facade is unfinished and shows a composite style, divided into two quite separate. The bottom in white marble (Sanmicheli) is Renaissance, and more recently, with three magnificent arches separated by pilasters and Corinthian half-columns, the top is the Gothic-Romanesque and maintains the original finish that alternated rows of brick and tufa, ending in the attic with a delicate decoration hanging arches. Renaissance are also forms of sixteenth-century bell tower on the right side of the church, that escapes from the typical Veronese: overlapping orders of mullioned windows, blind and open in the lower levels in the belfry, surmounted by a balustrade surrounding an octagonal dome with slender.
The interior has three aisles in the shape of a Latin cross, with chancel and transept (transept) slightly raised compared to the rural church. At first sight the visitor perceives to be entered into an important temple, which houses a richhissima decorative painting: frescoes by Francesco and Nicolò Caroto Giolfino on the gables of the nave; blades of Antonio Balestra, Paul Farinati, Francesco Guercino in turbid and side chapels, frescoes by Francesco Morone, Domenico Brusasorci paintings and a painting of Alessandro Turchi said Orbetto in the sacristy. Under the chancel is the lower church, pre-Romanesque building with three aisles with cross vaults, columns and capitals of the eighth century. Visits by request contains a famous fourteenth-century marble altarpiece attributed to John of Rigino.
Among the gems preserved in Santa Maria in Organo deserve special attention in the incredible inlaid wooden choir is present on the cupboards of the vestry. Built between the fifteenth and the early decades of the sixteenth century by Fra Giovanni da Verona, with painstaking craftsmanship depicting urban landscapes (and the ideal city of Verona), allegories, still lifes of everyday objects and liturgical use. Proud of the paschal candle in the candlestick, by the same author in walnut and nearly four meters high, which are carved dolphins, sphinxes, and images of saints. The church is also a precious polychrome wood sculpture of the thirteenth century (the mule) depicting a Blessing Christ entering Jerusalem riding in a mule. Subject of numerous popular legends, coming out of church on Palm Sunday and was carried in procession through the city.
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