Palazzo Nero in Coredo in the Val di Non is a mighty and mysterious building overlooking the main street of the village which draws the attention of anyone walking past. However, not everyone knows that on its interior walls, ancient frescoes tell the epic story of a French queen who was the victim of shady conspiracies...
The frescoes are located in what is referred to as Judgement Hall in Palazzo Nero and Lorenzo Ferrari, a young guide and scholar from the Val di Non, reveals intriguing details related to the description of the frescoes to us.
Genevieve was a young queen. Her husband, Siegfried, was away at war, and so the Kingdom was run by Golo, his most trusted advisor, to whom Siegfried himself, before leaving for the front, had entrusted this grave task. However Golo had a secret: he was in love with Genevieve. So, with Siegfried far away, he attempted to seduce her. Genevieve however was not a saint by chance: she rebuffed Golo’s flattery, resisted his advances and remained faithful to her distant husband.
Golo, enraged by Genevieve’s refusal, awaited Siegfried’s return to take revenge: one of the frescoes in Judgement Hall shows him whispering in his master’s ear as he returns from battle on horseback: he was whispering that his wife Genevieve had betrayed him with a dwarf in the service of the court during his absence.
Slander, obviously. But Siegfried, either because he trusted Golo so much, or because he trusted his wife so little, still believed the claim. His first reaction was to throw the dwarf out of the window. He then turned to Genevieve and decided to sentence his wife to death.
Genevieve had to run away and was aided by the only person at court who believed her to be innocent: his name was Draco and he found her a home hidden away in the woods.
Golo, who suspected Genevieve’s disappearance to be the work of Draco, killed him in a fit of rage. Their clash can be seen in a red fresco depicting Draco’s blood and resonates with a dog’s howl: Genevieve’s dog, who is portrayed barking at Golo.
In the meantime, Genevieve spent her days in hiding embroidering. She had a special, unmistakable style of embroidery. So when one of her embroidered handkerchiefs ended up in the hands of King Siegfried many years later, he realized that his wife, whom everyone now assumed to be dead, was actually alive. He followed her trail and found her in her refuge.
It would appear that the story was destined to end badly, as Genevieve had still been accused of betrayal. But Genevieve’s eyes did not lie, and Siegfried finally began to listen to her and saw the truth: she had never betrayed him, always remaining faithful to him and the only true culprit had been the envious Golo.
Husband and wife returned to the palace, where, as in the best fairy tales, they all lived happily ever after. Except one person: Golo. The harshest sentence was reserved for him: he was torn to pieces from the throat by the same dog who had recognised his guilt right from the start.
So justice prevailed in the end, which is why these frescoes are here, in Judgement Hall, where trials have been held for centuries: everyone had to know that justice always prevails.
This is the compelling story of love and righted injustice between Siegfried and Genevieve; a story told through images in the hall of trials in Palazzo Nero. The hall is usually open to visitors at certain times of the year by reservation and accompanied by local guides.
Palazzo Nero is part of the Val di Non Castle circuit which every summer offers visitors the fabulous experience of delving into local history, making it even more interesting.