The Scaliger Tombs are the emblem of medieval Gothic art. It is a scenic mausoleum belonging to the Signoria della Scala, the symbol family of Verona that ruled from 1200 until the end of 1300. They are located behind Piazza dei Signori, where the Scaliger family had their residence.
The most famous tomb is the tomb of Cangrande I of Scala (1329), the valiant leader who brought peace and prosperity. A copy of his smiling equestrian statue is placed on the sarcophagus of the Church of Santa Maria Antica, while the original is displyed at the Castelvecchio Museum. The sarcophagus, held by 4 dogs, the symbol of loyalty, has bas-reliefs depicting the cities conquered during his military campaigns. When entering this small private cemetery, we can find the first tomb, the tomb of Mastino I (1277), which is very simple, and then the richly decorated sarcophagus of Alberto I (1301) with bas-reliefs of saints, patriarchs and heraldic symbols.
Inside a fence we find the complex mausoleum of the tyrant Mastino II (1350) with the bearded face and the equestrian statue armed with a spear and a shield.
Finally, the most majestic tomb is the tomb of Cansignorio, characterised by many niches and spiers. His equestrian statue wears an armour and the face is uncovered, as a sign of defiance. He improved the city from an aesthetic point of view, but was not interested in politics.