Tomb of Antenor – Padua, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Padua, Italy

Tomb of Antenor

The tomb of the mythological founder of Padua is not hidden in some obscure crypt, but stands right in the middle of the city square. 

The legendary figure Antenor appears in various accounts of Greek mythology, such as Homer’s Iliad, as a wise and old counselor to King Priam of Troy during the Trojan War. Antenor is reported to be a traitor to the Trojans, having helped the Achaeans. After the fall of Troy, Antenor fled from the city and according to some texts, such as Vergil’s Aeneid, settled in Northern Italy, founding the city of Padua.

In a square in the center of Padua lies a small medieval shrine that is said to contain the remains of the legendary founder of the city. The tomb was built in the 13th century after a coffer containing human rests, a sword, and two jars of gold coins was found.

The objects were was said, by judge and scholar Lovato Lovati, to be the casket and remains of Antenor. Lovati wanted his own final resting place to be close to Antenor, and today his tomb lies near that of the mythical founder of Padua. 

However, some recent studies found that the rests contained in the tomb don’t belong to Antenor at all, but rather may belong to an Hungarian warrior from the 9th century or an unknown person from the 2nd or 3rd centuries.