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Brescia(brā`shä), city (1991 pop. 194,502), capital of Brescia prov., Lombardy, N Italy. It is a commercial and highly diversified industrial center and a railroad junction. Manufactures include machinery, firearms, metalware, textiles, and processed food. A Gallic town, it later became a Roman stronghold (1st cent. B.C.) and then the seat of a Lombard duchy. In the 12th cent. it was made an independent commune. It subsequently fell under the domination of a long series of outside powers (including Verona, Milan, Venice, and Austria), until it united with Italy in 1860. In the 18th and 19th cent. Brescia was a revolutionary center, and in 1849 the city heroically resisted the Austrians for 10 days before it capitulated. Of note in Brescia are Roman remains; the Romanesque Old Cathedral (11th cent.); the baroque New Cathedral (17th cent.); the Lombard-Romanesque Church of San Francesco; and a Renaissance-style city hall. In the 16th cent. Brescia was the seat of a flourishing school of painting headed by G. B. Moroni and his pupil Moretto.
a city in Lombardy in northern Italy, situated in the foothills of the Alps on the Garza River. The administrative center of the province of Brescia. Population in 1969, 204, 400. It is a transport junction and has metallurgical, automobile, aircraft, agricultural, textile-machine, electrical-engineering, and radioelectronic plants. Brescia manufactures products for the military and has chemical, leather, and food industries. It is the site of the Academy of Letters and Art.
In antiquity Brescia was the settlement of the Celtic Cenomani tribe and was called Brixia. In the first century B.C. it became a Roman colony, and in the Lombard period, the seat of one of the duchies. After a prolonged struggle between the townsmen and their lord (bishop), Brescia acquired the status of an urban commune in the 12th century. As a member of the Lombard League in the 12th and 13th centuries it fought against the holy Roman emperors. In the second half of the 13th century a seigniory was established in Brescia. From 1426 to 1797 it was under Venetian rule but enjoyed a large measure of autonomy. By a decision of the Vienna Congress of 1814-15, Brescia together with the Lombard-Venetian province was transferred to Austria, against whose rule it rebelled several times, waging a particularly heroic struggle during the Revolution of 1848-49. In 1859 it became part of the Italian state.
Brescia retains features of the ancient Roman city plan and has remains of Roman public buildings. Architectural monuments include the town hall (11th-13th centuries), the cathedral (Duomo Vecchio, 11th-15th centuries), and Renaissance and baroque palaces and churches. There is a museum of Roman antiquities, a museum of the Christian era (in the eighth-century Church of San Salvatore), a museum of natural history, and an art gallery. Brescia is an alpine-climbing and tourist center.