Le due Cattedrali di Brescia: il Duomo Nuovo e il Duomo Vecchio

Duomo Nuovo and Duomo Vecchio


Piazza Paolo VI - Brescia

Duomo Nuovo

The construction of Duomo Nuovo (New Cathedral) started at the beginning of the 1600s, on the site where old San Pietro de Dom cathedral stood. This monumental work, a project by Gian Battista Lantana, took two centuries to complete and underwent several modifications.  The final addition was the large cupola of 1825.

The building is majestic and imposing, with Baroque elements in the lower portion of the façade and Neoclassical elements in the upper portions, added after the second half of the 18th century.

The interior contains noteworthy pieces of art such as St. Apollonius Tomb (1510), two double paintings by Romanino (one of the most important Renaissance painters in Brescia), and the altar piece by Giacinto Zoboli (1733), flanked by two statues by sculptor Antonio Callegari. On the left of the Altar, in the Trinity Chapel, there is an altar-piece by Giuseppe Nuvolone (1679), a grandiose ex voto for the 1630 plague.

Duomo Vecchio

Duomo Vecchio (Old Cathedral) is also called ‘Rotunda’ and it is one of the most charming sacred places in Brescia.

The ancient Paleo-Christian cathedral, Santa Maria Maggiore, was demolished between the 11th and 12th centuries to make room for the ample circular building that you can admire today.

In the interior, in front of the entrance, lies the imposing red marble sarcophagus of Bishop Berardo Maggi, lord of the city, who died in 1308. A flight of stairs descends into the Rotunda, where 8 pillars support arches that run along its circumference and support the hemispheric cupola. The raised, deep presbytery contains the Sacred Crosses Chapel on its left, where precious reliquaries are positioned behind protective grates.

On the right, the Most Holy Sacrament Chapel is decorated with four paintings by Moretto and two by Romanino in the area before the gate.

The choir is dominated by the outstanding Assumption altar-piece by Moretto and is enriched by wooden stalls by Antonio da Soresina (1522). The organ was built by Costantino Antegnati (1536).  Two sets of stairs on the sides of the staircase leading to the presbytery lead to the crypt dedicated to St. Filastrio (bishop of Brescia in the 4th century) with columns and capitals belonging to the crypt of the preceding cathedral (dating from the Roman Age, Bizantine-Ravenna Age, and 8th-9th centuries).


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