THE ITALIAN ARCHITECT
It is a conviction, which is held by a few European scholars that an Italian named Geronimo Veroneo planned the design of the magnificent Taj Mahal, which is now considered as one of the wonders of the world. in 1640 A.D an Augustinian Friar, Father Manrique who visited Agra to help release Father Antony, who had been imprisoned by the Mughals, first stated this view. in Lahore, Father Manrique met Father Joseph de Castro, who had been an architect under Veroneo. Castro told Father Manrique about Geronimo Veroneo, who was a Venetian and had come in the Portuguese ship but died in Lahore city, in 1640 A.D.
As said by Father Manrique, a Veroneo named goldsmith did come to india, at the time the Great Mughal ruler Jahangir was in power and died, as he was going towards Lahore. The goldsmith resided for a little time in Agra, where he prospered. He got in contact with many leading Europeans, all over the provinces of North India and after his death; he was buried in the Padres Santos, which was a Christian cemetery located in Agra.
The theory that Veroneo planned the Taj Mahal is interesting and even now finds rare supporters, particularly in Italy. However, the evidences oppose this theory. What is the truth in this story remains undiscovered but fact is that there is the evidence of Father Manrique, who was nothing more than a tourist and who had heard that an Italian had built the Taj.
Furthermore, nowhere else is stated about Veroneo's contribution in designing, the Taj Mahal. in fact, besides being a superior goldsmith, there is no proof that Veroneo had any other talent. A few Europeans, who witnessed the Taj Mahal being built, never stated his name and it is difficult to imagine that an artist, who was trained in Italy of seventeenth century, could construct a mausoleum that would personify indo-Persian architecture.