The Capitolium, or the Capitoline Temple (Tempio Capitolino), is a Roman temple located in Brescia, in Piazza del Foro, along Via dei Musei. The Capitolium represents the nucleus of the ancient Roman city of Brixia, and together with the theater and the ruins of the forum, is the most important Roman archaeological complex in northern Italy.
The Capitolium was built in 73 AD on the site of a former temple dating back to the period of the Roman Republic. The structure was erected by the Emperor Vespasian after his battle with the General Vitellio, held on a plain between Goito and Cremona. The origin of the temple is confirmed by the writing on the pediment.
The temple was destroyed by fire during the barbarian invasions that afflicted Italy in the 4th century AD and never rebuilt. Later, during the Middle Ages, it was buried by a landslide of the Cidneo Hill.
The Capitoline Temple was unearthed only in 1823, thanks to the support of the Municipality of Brescia and the University, which demolished public housing and a small park to bring the complex to light.
The complex was partially reconstructed between 1935 and 1938. The Corinthian columns were recomposed with bricks, as well as part of the pronaos. Some structural elements that emerged from the ground were reused as a building material.
In 2011, the temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the Longobards in Italy: Places of Power (568–774 A.D.).
The layout of the Capitolium is that of a classic Roman temple with three chambers, with the colonnade on the front and enclosed by walls on the other three sides. Behind the facade, there are three chambers, each housing an altar dedicated to three deities, today identified as Jupiter, Juno and Minerva.
The central chamber of the temple also houses an extended lapidarium built in 1830, where numerous Roman stone works are preserved and exhibited, including altars, honorary inscriptions and monument bases.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Capitoline Temple is located about 1.6 kilometers from the Brescia railway station. The closest bus stop is located about 270 meters away, in Piazza Martiri di Belfiore, on the bus Lines 2, 6, 10, 11, 17 and 18.