The Church of Santa Maria in Organo was built between the 6th and 7th centuries and is located on the square of the same name in Verona. Highlights are the crypt and a wooden statue called La Muletta which is located in this crypt. The lower part of the facade is the work of the architect Sanmichele.
Santa Maria in Organo Church Verona
Address, Opening hours and Entrance fee
The address of the Chiesa di Santa Maria in Organo is Piazzetta Santa Maria in Organo, 1 – 37129 Verona (tel. +39 045591440). Bus: 70, 73, 96, 97. Opening Hours: Open all day. Entrance fee: Free of charge.
The Santa Maria in Organo Church was built around the turn of the 6th and 7th centuries. After having been destroyed and rebuilt after the earthquake of 1117, a second restoration took place in 1481. This was done by the Benedictine monks who had assigned the church to Pope Eugenio IV in 1444.
In those days it was one of the richest abbeys in the city and its facade overlooked a side canal of the Adige. This canal was closed towards the end of the 19th century, after it has overflown. It made way for the current Via Interrato dell’Acqua Morta.
The façade consists of two separate sections, the lower half of which, designed by Sanmicheli, is made of white marble. This is the most recent part and is characterised by three large arches separated by semi-pillars and pilasters. The upper part is Romanesque-Gothic and has alternating stripes of brick and volcanic tuff stone.
The interior is a Latin cross with three naves, with a presbytery and a transept.
What to see
Under the presbytery you can find an older, pre-Romanesque church with three naves and a cross vault. The columns and capitals date from the 8th century. On request you can admire a 14th century canvas by Giovanni di Rigino.
The portal of the church dates back to 1592.
The campanile dates from the Renaissance period and is on the right side of the church. It was probably made by Brother Giovanni da Verona.
The wooden mosaics in the choir and on the cupboards in the sacristy were also done by Brother Giovanni da Verona, who practiced his craft around the turn of the 15th century and was particularly famous for his use of perspective. According to Giorgio Vasari the sacristy was the most beautiful one in all of Italy.
He was also responsible for the almost four-metre high Easter candlestick.
The name in Organo does not refer to the ancient organ inside the church. In reality it derives from an instrument for irrigation that was used in Roman times. Parts of this ancient instrument are still visible in the foundation of the bell tower.