The Capitolium or Tempio Capitolino is a Roman temple in Brescia in Piazza del Foro, the center of ancient Roman Brixia. Together with the theater and the remains of the city's forum, it is the most important complex of ruins and remains of Roman public buildings in northern Italy.
In 2011 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is part of the Longobardi serial site in Italy: places of power (568 - 774 AD).
The construction of the building is to be attributed to Vespasiano, in 73 d.C .. His "paternity" is confirmed by the original inscription on the pediment: IMP. CAESAR.VESPASIANUS.AUGUSTUS. / PONT. MAX. TR. Potest. IIII. EMP. X. P. P. CAS. IIII / CENSOR
The temple was built on a previous republican temple and its construction is due to the Emperor's victory over General Vitellius, in the plain between Goito and Cremona. Destroyed by a fire during the barbarian incursions that plagued Europe in the fourth century AD and never rebuilt, it was buried by a landslide of the Cidneo hill during the Middle Ages. The temple was brought to light only in 1823 thanks to the support of the City of Brescia and the University, which demolished the public housing and the small park (Giardino Luzzaghi) built years ago on the ground now flattened above the building, bringing back to light the ancient center of the Roman Brixia.
The complex was partially rebuilt between 1935 and 1938 through the use of bricks, which allowed the recomposition of the Corinthian columns, part of the pronaos and the three cells behind the facade. The project should have been wider: it would have had to demolish practically all the buildings that occupied the space of the hole up to the ancient basilica in Piazza Labus, dig up to the original level of the ground and restore or rebuild most of the columns of the portico around the square. Therefore, connecting bridges would have been positioned to allow an overview of the ruins from above with stairs that descended in several points. The project was never totally put into practice and we limited ourselves to lay bare and restructure the only column of the hole still intact, still visible today in Piazza del Foro.
The structure of the temple is that of the classical Roman capitolium with three cells, that is prostyle, with the colonnade only in the front area and closed by a wall on the sides and back. Behind the front of the façade Corinthian style exastila, there are three cells separated by interspaces, each hosting an altar dedicated to three respective deities, today identified as Minerva, Jupiter and Juno. The threshold of the central cell, the largest, made of Botticino marble, is valuable and well preserved.