The first mention of the church can be found in a document dating back to the 11th century, but the place of worship was probably built long before this time.
The first important interventions on the ancient structure took place at the end of the 15th century, at the behest of the provost Bernardino Fabio.
At the beginning of the 16th century, Girolamo Romani, better known as Romanino, was commissioned to paint the Lamentation over the Dead Christ for the Chapel of the Passion. The painting remained in the chapel until 1871, and then was sold and transferred to various private collections in Italy and England. Today, the work is found in Venice, in Gallerie dell’Accademia.
From this moment on, many other artists worked in the church, including Callisto Piazza, Lattanzio Gambara, Pietro Marone and Prospero Rabaglio.
In the 17th century, with the spread of the cult of Saint Carlo Borromeo, the church was enriched with an altar dedicated to him, decorated with an altarpiece by Francesco Giugno. The other two chapels of the church, dedicated to the Passion and to the Body of Christ, were progressively embelished with marble structures and paintings.
In 1602, the Order of the Humiliati, who administered the parish, was suppressed by a bull of Pope Pius V, and the church passed to the Augustinian nuns.
Around the middle of the 18th century, the church was in an advanced state of degradation. On March 7, 1751, at the proposal of the provost Giovanni Pietro Dolfin, the Municipality decided that the church will be renovated.
The facade of the church was built between 1753 and 1757 by the architect Domenico Corbellini. The church was completed in 1761 and consecrated in 1763.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The facade is rather high and slender, divided into two orders by a thick trabeation. The lower order, in Corinthian style, is made up of protruding half-columns and pilasters.
The second order is very simple, without capitals, surmounted by a triangular tympanum, decorated in the center by a coat of arms. On the second order, there is a circular window that illuminates the interior, probably a remnant of the ancient rose window of the medieval facade.
The main portal of the church is Ionic style, with a triangular tympanum above, surmounted by a fragment of trabeation bearing two cherubs by Antonio Calegari on the sides and a statue of San Lorenzo in the center.
The facade also has two minor lateral wings, delimited by flat pilasters in Ionic style, which house the side entrances. The two portals are surmounted by a tympanum and the crowning of the two wings is a false balustrade, decorated with marble flower vases and an angel in the center.
The interior is large and welcoming, dominated by a yellow-ocher hue that cover every visible surface of the walls and ceiling. The church has a single nave, animated by the continuous protruding of the pillars and the side chapels, three on each side.
The church preserves a rich artistic heritage, which is not limited only to paintings, but also extends to the altars, two in particular, masterpieces of inlays and chiseling of marble. The other chapels, the presbytery and the sacristy are home to especially valuable pictorial works, signed by many authors from the 16th to the 18th century.
The church also preserves a vast treasure composed mainly of liturgical instruments and furnishings, among which the reliquary of San Biagio (Saint Blaise) of the early 16th century stands out.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of San Lorenzo is located in Via Moretto, a few meters from Piazza Bruno Boni and about 750 meters from the Brescia railway station. The closest bus stop is in Via Antonio Gramsci 14, about 130 meters away, on the bus Line 9.