Brescia (brāˈshä) [key], 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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.