Historical buildings and monuments
- Tempio Capitolino e Teatro Romano: the temple, constructed in 74 BC enclosed the ancient forum on its north side. A marble staircase leads to the temple façade, formed by 6 columns. Inside the temple, there were 3 cells with marble floors. On the side, there is the theater, constructed in the 1st century BC and renovated in the 2nd century. The theater stands on a hill, in the Greek style, and hosted as many as 15,000 spectators.
- The Castle: it is located on the top of the Colle Cidneo, in a scenic position overlooking the city. This was the settlement of the city's first inhabitants and later the Romans built an enormous temple on the site. It is one of the most important fortified complexes in Italy and was constructed in various stages beginning from the 12th century to the Venetian period. It is a true fortified citadel with towers, bulwarks, buildings, courtyards, drawbridges and cellars that can be visited and that house the Museo delle Armi Antiche and the Museo del Risorgimento. The gardens are also worth a visit and, in the summer, the Brescians transform them into a much loved meeting point.
- Piazza della Loggia: the piazza was designed in 1433, commissioned by the mayor, Marco Foscari, to give the Brescian nobility a new place to gather. The piazza became the center of the city's political and economic life. It was not completed until a century later. Gradually, the Loggia, Monte Vecchio and Monte Nuovo di Pietà, with its porticos and clock tower were constructed. The Loggia was the city's public building and is the city hall today. Some of the greatest architects of the day contributed to the design, such as Sansovino and Palladio. The ship's keel dome was destroyed by fire in 1575 and it was only in 1915 that it was decided to rebuild it in lead following the original design. The rich sculptural decorations adorning the palazzo are also worthy of note. The Monte Vecchio di Pietà is the oldest building on the piazza and is an example of the Venetian Renaissance style. It is decorated with ancient Roman stones found during excavations for the construction of the piazza and arranged in the façade by the city government of the time. On the side opposite the Loggia, in the center of an elegant Venetian portico, you will find the Clock Tower. This 14th-century tower houses a precious mechanical astronomical clock, plated in gold, portraying the sun and the signs of the zodiac. On the top of the tower, you can see two statues nicknamed “i macc de le ure” (the madmen of the hours), who strike the hours on the bell.
- The Broletto: dominated by the 11th-century Torre del Pégol , the monument is one of the most important Medieval Lombard palazzi. What you see today, is the result of various superimposed buildings: the stone part is the oldest, while the terra cotta parts is latter. The palazzo also incorporates the façade of the preceding Romanesque church of Sant’Agostino.
- The Mercato dei Grani: it is located in Piazzale Arnaldo, one of the most fascinating piazzas of Brescia. The palazzo was used as a grain market and is a magnificent example of how public utility can be combined with great esthetic concepts. The piazza's tall statue commemorates Arnaldo, a 12th-century monk condemned to death as a heretic for having publicly condemned the corruption of the Brescian clergy. In the piazza at the corner with Porta Venezia, you will find Zilioli, one of the city's most famous pastry shops, which is a good place to take a break.
Photos courtesy of: Provincia di Brescia Assessorato Turismo, Comune di Brescia Servizio Turismo
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