Home > Duomo Vecchio di Brescia

Duomo Vecchio di Brescia

The old Cathedral, officially winter concatedrale of Santa Maria Assunta, is the Brescia co-cathedral, a title that divides with the adjacent new Duomo. Built from the eleventh century on a previous basilica, it has undergone more than one expansion over the centuries, but has preserved intact the original Romanesque structure, which makes it one of the most important examples of Romanesque roundabouts in Italy. The cathedral also contains many important works, including a sepulcher of Bonino da Campione, the organ of Giangiacomo Antegnati, the marble sarcophagus of Berardo Maggi and the cycle of paintings by Moretto and Romanino made for the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament of the Basilica of San Pietro de Dom and transferred here after its demolition. Of great importance is also the crypt, dating back to the 6th century but restored in the 8th century.

The history of the old cathedral begins with the demolition of the now old and inadequate Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore de Dom, an early Christian building built perhaps in the seventh century and approximately coeval with the Basilica of San Pietro de Dom, now replaced by the new cathedral. The basilica, of longitudinal plan, without transept, covered by a simple roof of exposed trusses and enriched in the VIII century by the "Crypt of San Filastrio", was also likely to have been destroyed or damaged by the fire that devastated the city in 1095. In the first half of the twelfth century the new cathedral had to be completed, keeping only the crypt below from Santa Maria Maggiore.

Towards the end of the thirteenth century, Berardo Maggi, bishop and first lord of Brescia, makes an extension of the presbytery and makes the interior decorate, but we are not sure if the intervention concerned only the roofing times of the ambulatory or the walls and the central dome. More imposing works are put into practice in the same area between the end of the fifteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth century by the hand of Bernardino da Martinengo, which considerably extends the presbytery to the east, covering it with cross vaults still Gothic. In the same circumstance the transept is added, completing it with the chapel of the Holy Crosses on the left side. The new presbytery sees the participation of Gasparo Cairano in the realization of the keystones, while Vincenzo Civerchio frescoes the walls with the Stories of the Virgin, later lost. In 1512 the Municipality of Brescia decided to devote more effort to the embellishment of the cathedral. From 1571 the reorganization of the interior began according to the directives of the Counter-Reformation.

Due to its characteristics and the very high degree of preservation of the original structures, the Old Cathedral of Brescia ranks among the most traditional and important examples of Romanesque roundabouts in Italy. The current appearance is the result of two extensions: one of the late fifteenth century, which added the current presbytery and the apse on the bottom, and one practiced during the second half of the sixteenth century, which completed the transept and practiced other interventions. Of great importance is also the underlying crypt, dating back to the 6th century but restored in the 8th century.

Source: Wikipedia


Piazza Paolo VI Brescia (Brescia)