San Salvatore, Brescia

San Salvatore ( or Santa Giulia ) is a former monastery in Brescia, in Lombardy, which is now a museum. The monastic complex is known for its architectural diversity, which includes buildings from Roman times, the pre-Romanesque and Romanesque period and the Renaissance. In 2011, San Salvatore was recorded under the name The Longobards in Italy, Places of Power ( 568-774 AD) in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to tradition, San Salvatore is the place of the Great lived on the Desiderata, daughter of Desiderius Lombard king and wife of Charles after the dissolution of marriage 771.


San Salvatore was founded in 753 by Desiderius, who later became king of the Lombards, and his wife Ansa as a nunnery. Her daughter Anselperga became the first abbess. Despite the defeat of the Lombards to Charlemagne San Salvatore retained his privileges as a royal monastery, and was even able to expand its possession.

From the middle of the 9th century San Salvatore was one of the abbeys, which served the care of members of the Carolingian rulers of Italy:

  • Gisla, † 860, 851/860 Abbess of San Salvatore, daughter of Emperor Lothair I.
  • Gisla, † before April 28th 868, 861 Abbess of San Salvatore, daughter of Emperor Louis II
  • Engelberga, † 890/891, 868 Abbess of San Salvatore, wife of Emperor Louis II
  • Ermengarde, † 896, 878 Abbess of San Salvatore, daughter of Emperor Louis II, wife of Boso of Vienne, mother of Emperor Louis III.

In the 12th century, most of the buildings have been restored or rebuilt in the Romanesque style, and the Oratory of Santa Maria in Solario built. In the 15th century, all parts of the plant have been restored again and a dormitory attached. In 1599 the Church of Santa Giulia was completed.

The abbey was dissolved in 1798 after the occupation of Lombardy by France. The buildings were used as barracks, then left to decay. In 1882, the complex became a museum for the period of Christianity. However, the decline was not until 1956 that ended with the recent restoration work. 1998, it was added to the Museo di Santa Giulia.


At the Abbey of San Salvatore include

  • The Chiesa di San Salvatore, a basilica from about the 9th century with a main nave and two aisles; It was built over an older church consisted of a nave and three aisles; this in turn was built on a Roman building dating from the 1st century BC, which was destroyed in the 5th century. In the bell tower from the 13th - 14th Century are frescoes by Girolamo Romanino. Inside the church there are frescoes by Paolo Cailina since the Younger next frescoes from the Carolingian period. The nuns reserved presbytery was built in the 16th century and was previously the Dating back to the 1466 Choir of the nuns.
  • The Chiesa di Santa Maria in Solario was built in the 12th century. It has a rectangular shape with an octagonal lantern and a small loggia. The second level is decorated with scenes from the life of Jesus.
  • The Chiesa di Santa Giulia dates from the 16th century
  • The museum with finds from the Bronze Age to the Roman period, including the famous Winged Victoria. In the Middle Ages department there is a crucifix that Desiderius should have heard. Furthermore, fragments are exhibited today destroyed architecture Brescia, for example frescoes from the Broletto, a statue of Faustina, and a cycle of frescoes by Alessandro Moretto.
  • On one the nuns reserved orchard houses foundations were excavated from the Roman period.

Interior view, detail

Interior view, detail