The convent of San Salvatore, later named after Santa Giulia (915) was founded at the wish of King Desiderius and his wife Ansa in 753 AD, and built on a particularly rich archeological site ( the remains of Roman domus have been found under the basilica of San Salvatore and in the kitchen garden of Santa Giulia. Considerable enlargement and reconstruction over the centuries produced a building constructed round three cloisters, as it is today. Major alterations were made in the time of the city states (XII century: rebuilding of the cloisters, enlargement of San Salvatore's crypt, building of Santa Maria in Solario) and in the late XV century ( complete rebuilding of the cloisters and addition of the north cloister of dormitories, raising of the nuns' choir and repositioning of the front of the church of San Salvatore, which was in turn destroyed and completely redesigned when the new church of Santa Giulia was built in 1499).
Points of Interest: Museums
The initiative to launch a museum dedicated to the Freccia Rossa was conceived and brought to fruition by the Association Museo delle Mille Miglia Città di Brescia, incorporated in December 1996 by the Brescia entrepreneurs Amici della Mille Miglia. Today the Association has 50 members. The new museum was opened to the public on November 10, 2004. The initiative entailed the restructuring of the monastery complex of Sant’Eufemia, which is owned by the City of Brescia, providing the opportunity of recovering a building of great archaeological, historical and architectural value that had been left in decline for many years. The location of the Museum in a site of such historical significant is totally different from all the other automobile museums: The Museo Mille Miglia conserves a history, relates a myth, and day after day provides a live testimony to a period of our past.
Since 1988 the Visconti Keep houses the municipal Luigi Marzoli Arms Museum, one of the most important of its kind in Europe because of the wealth of XV and XVI arms and armour and XVII and XVIII guns in its collections. The exhibits, of great historical and artistic interest, are set out in various sections according to type and period. there are about six hundred items on display offering significant examples of both Milanese arms production and that of Brescia, which boasts a centuries-old tradition in the sector.
Since 1996, the mission of the Museo Diocesano has been to assure the safeguard and custody of religious artworks which had been housed in precarious church buildings that had been closed, were dilapidated or unsafe. The permanent collections on the first floor are divided into four sections: paintings and sculptures, illuminated manuscripts, religious artefacts in precious metals and liturgical fabrics.
The Cinefotoclub National Museum of Photography (founded in 1953) preserves a rich heritage of vintage photographs and cinema memorabilia. Its 8,000 pieces tell the story of photography from 1826 to the digital era, and the history of movie making from amateurs to professionals.
The Archive holds over 60,000 photographs: from glass panes to negatives, from prints to slides, to digital software. A very important section is the exhibition dedicated to photographs in single copy: daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, ferrotypes.