Hidden treasures

The relics of the Thorn in the church of Santa Corona in Vicenza

Unknown places & works
santa-corona

The relics of the Thorn in the church of Santa Corona in Vicenza

One of the most important churches of Vicenza is undoubtedly Santa Corona. It was founded by the Dominicans in 1260s to house the precious relics of the Holy Thorn which were donated to the Bishop of Vicenza Bartolomeo da Breganze (1259-70) by the French King Louis IX.

In the Golden Legend of Jacobus de Varagine it is said that the cross on which Jesus Christ died, as well as the crown of thorns and other instruments of the Passion, were collected and hidden by some disciples. Around 320 AD the Emperor Constantine's mother, Helena, found these relics... Some were brought to Rome, while others, including the crown of thorns, remained in Jerusalem.

Around 1063 the crown was taken to Constantinople where it was kept until 1237, when the Latin Emperor Baldwin II gave it to some Venetian merchants, in exchange for a substantial loan (a source speaks of 13,134 gold coins). When the loan expired, King Louis IX of France, urged by Baldwin II, bought the Crown and carried it to Paris and housed it in his palace until the Sainte-Chapelle was completed and solemnly inaugurated in 1248. The treasure of Sainte Chapelle was badly damaged during the French Revolution, and that is the reason the Crown today has only a few thorns left. However, several thorns had already been removed during the crown’s journey to Paris to be donated to churches and shrines for special meritorious reasons; more thorns were donated by subsequent French kings to princes and clerics as a sign of friendship.

For these reasons, numerous French but especially Italian establishments today boast about possessing one or more of the Holy Thorns of Christ's crown ... Vicenza is one of these cities! The church of Santa Corona and its precious relics can be included in a fascinating private tour to discover the treasures of the Palladio city!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Treviso: The legendary origins of Treviso

treviso
Unknown places & works

It is well known knowledge that the more ancient a place is, the more legends there are telling of its founding: this is the case of th...

View

Venice: The iconostasis of St. Mark’s Basilica

iconostasi-basilica-san-marco
Unknown places & works

Entering St Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the first thing everyone does spontaneously is to lift their gaze up to the magnificent golden...

View

Padua: Why do people say ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela?’

pietra-del-vituperio
Historical Curiosities

Have you ever wondered where the popular expression ‘Rimanere in mutande’ o ‘Rimanere in braghe di tela’ comes from? It is a wa...

View

Verona: The roman walls of Verona

porta-borsari
Historical Curiosities

Verona has always been considered a city of considerable importance from a military point of view: being at the mouth of the Adige Vall...

View

Top posts

Padua: Giotto’s Vices and Virtues in the Scrovegni Chapel

Carità-e-Invidia
Historical Curiosities

The Scrovegni Chapel in Padua contains one of the most significant masterpieces of all time: the great fresco cycle by Giotto. Among th...

View

Venice: The red stone of the 'Sotoportego de la peste'

sotoportego-de-la-peste
Mysteries & Legends

Walking around Venice along the narrow streets and across the squares, you could happen to notice strange slabs on the pavement... whic...

View

Venice: Titian's paintings in the Sacristy of the Basilica della Salute

tiziano-salute-venezia
Big Names

The Basilica della Salute is one of the most important religious places in Venice ... it was constructed to commemorate the end of the ...

View

Verona: The Giusti Garden and Goethe’s cypress

giardino-giusti
Unknown places & works

It is no coincidence that Italy has been dubbed 'the land of gardens' .... Every town, village or hamlet has a garden, perhaps with a c...

View