Piazza Paolo VI
The old Duomo, or Rotonda, is the main Romanesque building in Brescia. Built in the 11th Century on a pre-existing basilica, it has a circular body which rises from a large, cylindrical drum. The door was rebuilt in 1708 after the collapse of the bell tower. The inside is grandiose and simple and topped by a semicircular calotta
, or crown, supported by eight large rounded arches on imposing pilasters and surrounded by an ambulacrum, or walkway and easily reached by a brief flight of steps. The presbytery, flanked by two side chapels, was added in 1488-98; of note are the frescoes by Vincenzo Civerchio. Behind the main altar is Moretto's Assumption 1526. In the right side chapel, San Luca and San Marco
, by Moretto, and opposite the chapel is a painting by Francesco Maffei; it is of interest because it depicts the Piazza del Duomo as it was in the 17th Century. Two small flights of stairs lead to the splendid Romanesque crypt of S. Filastrio of the 11th Century. At the center of the transept and inside the rotonda are the remains of a mosaic floor, which may be from the former basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore or a possible 1st Century BCE thermal bath.