Iron Crown of Lombardy

Iron Crown of Lombardy
Iron Crown.JPG
The Iron Crown of Lombardy, displayed in the Cathedral of Monza
Heraldic depictions
Corona ferrea monza (heraldry).svg
Details
CountryKingdom of the Lombards[1]
Kingdom of Italy (Frankish)
Holy Roman Empire
Kingdom of Italy (Napoleonic)
Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia
Kingdom of Italy
Madeca. 4th or 5th century[1]
OwnerCathedral of Monza
ArchesNone (Circlet)
MaterialGold
CapNone
Other elementsNail purportedly used at the Crucifixion of Jesus

The Iron Crown of Lombardy (Italian: Corona Ferrea; Latin: Corona Ferrea Langobardiae) is both a reliquary and one of the oldest royal insignias of Christendom. It was made in the Early Middle Ages, consisting of a circlet of gold and jewels fitted around a central silver band, which tradition holds to be made of iron beaten out of a nail of the True Cross. The crown became one of the symbols of the Kingdom of the Lombards and later of the medieval Kingdom of Italy. It is kept in the Cathedral of Monza, outside Milan.

Description

The Iron Crown is so called because it was believed to contain a one centimetre-wide band of iron within it, said to be beaten out of a nail used at the crucifixion of Jesus. The outer circlet of the crown is made of six segments of beaten gold, partly enameled, joined together by hinges. It is set with twenty-two gemstones[note 1] that stand out in relief, in the form of crosses and flowers. Its small size and hinged construction have suggested to some that it was originally a large armlet or perhaps a votive crown. According to other opinions, however, the small size is due to a readjustment after the loss of two segments, as described in historical documents.

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