The Gothic complex of tombs of the Scaligeri Family who ruled Verona in the 13th and 14th centuries, when the city was flourishing
Originally the family used la Chiesa Rettoriale Santa Maria Antica as their private chapel. Later, the place for their burial grounds was chosen next to this church.
The decorations of the monuments follow religious motifs yet are different for each of the tombs: the symbols represent the legends and stories connected with the deceased.
The first tomb you will notice is the tomb of Cangrade 1. Unlike the other four, the sarcophagus is outside of the walls of the church, by the main entrance. The tomb is decorated with small statues of dogs that symbolise the meaning of the nobleman’s name. “Cangrande” means “big dog”. Within the paws of the dogs, you will see the coat of arms of the family with their famous symbol of a stair.
The other tombs have the remains of Mastino 1, the founder of the family, and Alberto 1. The other two raised and beautifully decorated tombs are dedicated to Mastino 2 and Consignorio. The sarcophagi of these noblemen are outstanding examples of gothic sculptures.