Santa Giulia – City Museum

Descrizione

The female Benedictine monastery of  San Salvatore, later named  (915) was founded by King Desiderius and his wife Ansa in  753 d.C., on a particularly rich archeological site  (the remains of Roman domus were found under the basilica of San Salvatore and in the vegetable garden of Santa Giulia).   A lot of reconstruction was carried out during the centuries and gave shape to a building built around three cloisters, as can be seen today. And the monastery, where Desiderius’ daughter took refuge after being repudiated by Charlemagne, Manzoni’s Ermengarda, thrived and became one of the most important convents in all of Northern Italy. 


The visit to the museum begins  in the underground part of the monastery, in the past used for cellars and storage room, where the history of the settling of Brescia and its surroundings from the Bronze Age up to the Roman times can be followed.  The most ancient materials, coming from the southern part of the city, date back to 3000 BC, and refer to the moment in which the dwellers became farmers and craftsmen. I

The Roman age is represented in all its aspects, both public and private life.  In the era of Vespasiano, Brescia was given a monumental center that organized Capitolium, Basilica and Theater around the forum. Relief models, videos and archeological finds enable visitors to imagine the buildings that contained the famous bronzes discovered on July 20, 1826 in the cavity between the rear wall of the Capitoline Temple and the Cidneo Hill.  They were probably all used in the Temple itself:  the most famous is the “Winged Victory”, probably Venus before being transformed in the Vespasiano era, when it became an imperial votive offering; there are also some fine gilded bronze heads of Roman emperors.

The private domus display, in particular the so-called domus of Dionysius and the Fountain domus, is next to the section dedicated to public buildings, and features frescos and mosaics and objects representing daily life. This part is unique because of the remains of a house found under the convent garden.

The arrival in the territory of Brescia of Germanic people, Goths, Lombards, Carolingians, marked the passage from later Roman to medieval art.  The appearance of the city change greatly as Roman public buildings were abandoned and poor mud and wood houses were built, while large areas of the town became farmland.  It was during this period that the monastery of San Salvatore was founded and quickly took on an important religious, political and economic role as the return to civil life gradually began.   

The Medieval age begins with exhibits connected to the city-state period, above all, with objects coming from buildings that no longer exist.  Frescos by Broletto, the marble San Faustino on horseback from Porta Pile, the fountain statue of Berardo Maggi from the San Barnaba convent are of particular interest.  


The visit continues in the church of San Salvatore and the XVth century old refectory, a large room divided into two parts by massive pillars, where materials coming from monumental buildings in the city that illustrate the period from late Gothic to Renaissance are on display.

In the IXth century, a new church was built on the foundations of the first one, dating back to the VIII century. And was 40 meters long with a nave and two aisles divided by pillars with fine capitals.   In the second half of the XVI century, the front of the Basilica was demolished when the nuns’ new choir was built – with the new choir being the chancel of the church of Santa Giulia.  The remain of the stucco work in the nave and north aisle date back to the IX century.  Part of the right-hand aisle is taken up by the base of the bell tower, which was erected between the XIII and XIV century.  Its lower part was later decorated by Romanino (XVI century).  The chapels on the north side are all decorated with the second one featuring frescos of the Lombard school dating back to the period from 1350-1375, while in the first you can see a series of XVI century frescos.  The apsidal area of the crypt belonged to the first church and fragments of the VIII and IX century frescos can be found here.  In the XIII century, it was extended with columns featuring interesting antelemi-style figured capitals.

The corner-stone of the next section is Santa Maria in Solario, a XII century votive chapel that was used as the "oratory" of the monastery. On top of the square-shaped construction there is an octagonal lantern with a closed loggia. There are two floors joined by a stone staircase built within the wall. The lower floor features a Roman altar stone dedicated to the Sun god in the middle, on which the central pillar of the room rests. The upper floor, under the cupola, is completely frescoed, for the most part by Floriano Ferramola (XVI century). The treasure of Santa Giulia is on show here, consisting of: the Lipsanoteca (an ivory reliquary case decorated with scenes from the Old and New Testaments) and the great wooden cross of King Desiderius (IX century goldsmith's work, covered in jewels, rare cameos and painted glass - including the famous triple portrait from the IV century).

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The female Benedictine monastery of  San Salvatore, later named  (915) was founded by King Desiderius and his wife Ansa in  753 d.C., on a particularly rich archeological site  (the remains of Roman domus were found under the basilica of San Salvatore and in the vegetable garden of Santa Giulia).   A lot of reconstruction was carried out during the centuries and gave shape to a building built around three cloisters, as can be seen today. And the monastery, where Desiderius’ daughter took refuge after being repudiated by Charlemagne, Manzoni’s Ermengarda, thrived and became one of the most important convents in all of Northern Italy. 


The visit to the museum begins  in the underground part of the monastery, in the past used for cellars and storage room, where the history of the settling of Brescia and its surroundings from the Bronze Age up to the Roman times can be followed.  The most ancient materials, coming from the southern part of the city, date back to 3000 BC, and refer to the moment in which the dwellers became farmers and craftsmen. I

The Roman age is represented in all its aspects, both public and private life.  In the era of Vespasiano, Brescia was given a monumental center that organized Capitolium, Basilica and Theater around the forum. Relief models, videos and archeological finds enable visitors to imagine the buildings that contained the famous bronzes discovered on July 20, 1826 in the cavity between the rear wall of the Capitoline Temple and the Cidneo Hill.  They were probably all used in the Temple itself:  the most famous is the “Winged Victory”, probably Venus before being transformed in the Vespasiano era, when it became an imperial votive offering; there are also some fine gilded bronze heads of Roman emperors.

The private domus display, in particular the so-called domus of Dionysius and the Fountain domus, is next to the section dedicated to public buildings, and features frescos and mosaics and objects representing daily life. This part is unique because of the remains of a house found under the convent garden.

The arrival in the territory of Brescia of Germanic people, Goths, Lombards, Carolingians, marked the passage from later Roman to medieval art.  The appearance of the city change greatly as Roman public buildings were abandoned and poor mud and wood houses were built, while large areas of the town became farmland.  It was during this period that the monastery of San Salvatore was founded and quickly took on an important religious, political and economic role as the return to civil life gradually began.   

The Medieval age begins with exhibits connected to the city-state period, above all, with objects coming from buildings that no longer exist.  Frescos by Broletto, the marble San Faustino on horseback from Porta Pile, the fountain statue of Berardo Maggi from the San Barnaba convent are of particular interest.  


The visit continues in the church of San Salvatore and the XVth century old refectory, a large room divided into two parts by massive pillars, where materials coming from monumental buildings in the city that illustrate the period from late Gothic to Renaissance are on display.

In the IXth century, a new church was built on the foundations of the first one, dating back to the VIII century. And was 40 meters long with a nave and two aisles divided by pillars with fine capitals.   In the second half of the XVI century, the front of the Basilica was demolished when the nuns’ new choir was built – with the new choir being the chancel of the church of Santa Giulia.  The remain of the stucco work in the nave and north aisle date back to the IX century.  Part of the right-hand aisle is taken up by the base of the bell tower, which was erected between the XIII and XIV century.  Its lower part was later decorated by Romanino (XVI century).  The chapels on the north side are all decorated with the second one featuring frescos of the Lombard school dating back to the period from 1350-1375, while in the first you can see a series of XVI century frescos.  The apsidal area of the crypt belonged to the first church and fragments of the VIII and IX century frescos can be found here.  In the XIII century, it was extended with columns featuring interesting antelemi-style figured capitals.

The corner-stone of the next section is Santa Maria in Solario, a XII century votive chapel that was used as the "oratory" of the monastery. On top of the square-shaped construction there is an octagonal lantern with a closed loggia. There are two floors joined by a stone staircase built within the wall. The lower floor features a Roman altar stone dedicated to the Sun god in the middle, on which the central pillar of the room rests. The upper floor, under the cupola, is completely frescoed, for the most part by Floriano Ferramola (XVI century). The treasure of Santa Giulia is on show here, consisting of: the Lipsanoteca (an ivory reliquary case decorated with scenes from the Old and New Testaments) and the great wooden cross of King Desiderius (IX century goldsmith's work, covered in jewels, rare cameos and painted glass - including the famous triple portrait from the IV century).

East Lombardy is the European region
of gastronomy 2017