The building on the northern side of Piazza Labus, which preserves the remains of Brescia Roman origins, was founded in the 17h century. In this period the building was renovated, and were also reorganised all the architectural elements from the Middle Ages that covered the then degraded Roman remains, still clearly recognizable on the palace façade. The systematic archaeological excavations carried out between 1993 and 1998 in the surrounding area brought to light large excerpts of the indoor and outdoor marble floor decorations of the Roman basilica and of the Forum from the period of Augustus. Despite the fact that these findings are fragmentary, it is possible to trace the outline of the architectural and decorative pattern of the large public building, destined to the most important civil activities of the community, among which the administration of justice. During the Flavian dynasty the basilica enclosed the southern side of the Forum as a sort of monumental entrance, linking with the side porticoes, counterbalancing the Sanctuary to the north.
Below the floor layers of the building, gradually removed through the centuries, emerge an ancient paved layer probably related to the original shape of the Forum under Augustus. The excavations also document how this area was occupied during the Middle Ages, where the foundations and walls of modest houses reused the architectural elements of the Roman building.
In the archaeological area it is possible to visit some sections of the basilica and the Forum, the medieval walls and a selection of archaeological findings from different periods: ceramics, ornaments, architectural elements, epigraphic material.
In the area of Piazza Labus, as well as in the Martinengo Cesaresco palace, the visitor can go on a tour that witnesses the stratifications of Brescia underground, an invitation to go beyond the difficulties in the interpretation of these ancient fragments and seize the emotions that flow from a vertical pattern of analysis, through the evolution in time of construction activities that animated this part of the city. The building hosting the new offices for Soprintendenza per i beni Archeologici (Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage) in Lombardy offers the access to a small library specialised in archaeology and also a space within the archaeological site dedicated to exhibitions and didactic laboratories.
Open to the public from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 1 pm. For more information, call +39 030 290196.
Piazza Labus, 3