Brescia Castle

Brescia, Italy

Brescia Castle on the rocky hill is the ancient part of Brixia, Roman city established in the 1st century BCE. The castle is called the 'Falcon of Italy' because of its position on the summit of the hill, where it overlooks the city from above. It is one of the largest fortified complexes in Italy with 75,000 square metres enclosed within its surrounding walls. The old Venetian-Visconti stronghold dominates the city and its well preserved buildings illustrate the evolution in military techniques that over time have rendered the defensive system impregnable and made it a perfect instrument to control the city for the various 'dominators' who succeeded one another in Brescia.

Walking along the path that leads from the entrance up to the top of the hill, the visitor travels through history: from 16th century military buildings (the time when Venetian domination began) to 19th century ones (the period of Austrian occupation) and then back in time again to the innermost surrounding walls built by the Visconti in medieval times.

The Castle and hill together have always been an integral part of the city. Yet, nowadays, going 'up to the Castle' means not only visiting the massive fortifications of the stronghold but also strolling in the spacious gardens within the walls or along the shady roads leading to the top of Cidneo hill.

The natural characteristics of the site were used for defensive purposes right from the time of the first settlements but have over time changed their function. The slopes of the hill, which were barren originally and covered in stones  to make it easier to sight the enemy, are quite different nowadays; since the end of the 19th century they have been completely changed: tree-lined avenues have been created and monuments and stelae put up; so that the Castle has taken on a public role that is both recreational and educational.

The Visconti Keep houses the Luigi Marzoli Arms Museum, one of the most important of its kind in Europe because of the wealth of 15th and 16th century arms and armour and 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.

The Museum of the Risorgimento is housed in the Grande Miglio (corn store), and has many interesting objects on display: documents, pictures, period prints, and historic relics. It is laid out in two sections which are devoted to the most important figures and happenings of the period ranging from the revolutionary years at the end of the 18th century to the late 19th century. 

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Details

Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Erwin Vonk (2 years ago)
The Castle of Brescia is a good preserved castle which dates back to Venetian golden era. It gives you a good idea how the government in those days defended itself. The Castle can't be missed, because of its position on top of a mountain. The Castle is still being restored to its former glory. The sights from the Castle are breathtaking. One lesser point to a visit is that due to the reconstruction not everything is open to the public.
Erwin Vonk (2 years ago)
The Castle of Brescia is a good preserved castle which dates back to Venetian golden era. It gives you a good idea how the government in those days defended itself. The Castle can't be missed, because of its position on top of a mountain. The Castle is still being restored to its former glory. The sights from the Castle are breathtaking. One lesser point to a visit is that due to the reconstruction not everything is open to the public.
Tom Polspoel (2 years ago)
Saw the castle when we drove into the city. Definitely worth the visit, even though the museum was closed. You have to be up for a bit of a climb though!
Marcelo B (2 years ago)
Beautiful, lots of stairs. Great for picnics. There is a bar just before the "entrance" of the first castle bridge. You can go around the castle to find great spots to picnic. Warning if you have Vertigo, there is a small tower that gives a panoramic view, don't go there. It's surprisingly vertical and you don't need to pass this to visit the castle.
Marcelo B (2 years ago)
Beautiful, lots of stairs. Great for picnics. There is a bar just before the "entrance" of the first castle bridge. You can go around the castle to find great spots to picnic. Warning if you have Vertigo, there is a small tower that gives a panoramic view, don't go there. It's surprisingly vertical and you don't need to pass this to visit the castle.
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