The reliquary of the first Christian martyr
The church, dedicated to the first Christian martyr, was erected in the Paleochristian era and houses the burials of the first bishops of Verona. Throughout the centuries Santo Stefano underwent complex architectural transformations. Particularly striking is the rare two-storey ambulatory, probably built to give pilgrims visual access to the abundant collection of important relics for which the church was famous. Also to be visited is the cruciform crypt with its forest of columns, arches and cross vaults.
Saint Stephen was the first Christian martyr and, according to the Acts of the Apostles, was stoned just outside Jerusalem, in a place still remembered today, near the so called “Lions Gate” or “Sheep Gate“.