This is one of the finest examples of convent churches in Italy. Its simple, unadorned style reflects the quietness and serenity typical of Franciscan life. The church, which was finished in 1265, is in late-Romanesque style. The nave is separated from two aisles by ogive arches supported by cylindrical pilasters. The gabled façade has a magnificent rose window in the middle. At the end of the 15th century the right aisle was completed with five elegant altars.
Points of Interest
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.
The palace, which was the seat of government at the time of the City States and Seigniories, is the result of several different building operations which went on for roughly a century. It has a complex layout round internal courtyards, within an area of about 100 x 75 metres. The south side, which fronts Via Cardinale Querini, along the left-hand side of the cathedral, corresponds to the ancient "Palatium Novum Maius" (1223 - 1227), which was considerably altered , above all in the XVII century.
The east side of the square is bounded by a building with an Ionic portico, surmounted by two storeys with architraved windows and enlivened by a typically Venetian use of two colours.The building, constructed where the defensive wall of the Visconti "Cittadella Nuova" (1363) once stood, was designed by Lodovico Beretta and built by Pier Maria Bagnadore in 1595. It incorporates the Clock Tower (1540-1550), with a mechanical clock made by Paolo Gennari of Rezzato, whose dial showing the phases of the moon and the signs of the zodiac has been decorated by various hands.
The south side of the square is occupied by the buildings of the old Monte di Pietà (1484 - 1489) and the new Monte di Pietà (1596 - 1600). The former was designed by Filippo de' Grassi, and takes its name from the institution that occupied it from 1490 onwards, the latter was designed by Pier Maria Bagnadore.
The Arengario, a red stone pulpit decorated with bas-reliefs, was erected in front of the geometric flight of steps which links the north-east of the square to the rest, which is at a lower ground level: it was used by public speakers during city assemblies.
The theatre was designed by the architect Carlo Manfredi and was built on the same spot where, a century earlier in 1644, the first public theatre in Brescia was opened, founded by the Accademia degli Erranti. In 1789 the facade and the three great arches which are incorporated in the arcade along Corso Zanardelli were added and, at a later date,at the suggestion of the architect Gaspare Turbino, the imposing flight of steps leading up to the entrance to the theatre.
The Queriniana library was founded in 1747 and opened to the public by Cardinal Angelo Maria Querini, formerly librarian at the Vatican library, well known for his bibliophily.
He had the monumental palace designed and built by the architect Marchetti and donated his remarkable private bibliographic collections, legating a considerable sum to enable the library to expand in the future.
The west side is dominated by the elegant, baroque façade of the Palazzo Martinengo Palatino (XVIIth century) with its raised central section. Nowadays the building houses the University Chancellor's office.
The plain buildings with their arcade were built to the design of the architect Lodovico Beretta in the mid-VIth century.