• About

    The Church of San Zeno al Foro is a church in Brescia, located in Piazza del Foro, along Via dei Musei, near the Capitolium. The church is dedicated to San Zeno, the eighth bishop of Verona during the second half of the 4th century.

     

    SHORT HISTORY

    A first church was built on this site in the Middle Ages, probably during the 12th century.

    The church was rebuilt in Baroque style at the behest of the young parish priest Giovanni Pietro Dolfin, a noble Venetian patrician, who later also rebuilt the Church of San Lorenzo. The new structure was completed in 1745.

     

    ARCHITECTURE

    The Church of San Zeno al Foro is a very coherent example of Baroque structure in Brescia. The building is preceded by a short churchyard bordered by a Baroque iron gate with marble pillars surmounted by cherubs and pairs of twisted dolphins.

    The facade, very simple, is divided in two architectural orders of Composite pilasters, crowned by a curvilinear tympanum. Today, only the polygonal Romanesque apse in terracotta, decorated with small arches, remains of the original medieval structure.

    The church has a longitudinal layout, with a single nave without a transept, and two chapels on each side.

     

    ART

    Inside the church, there are many valuable works of art, especially of pictorial type, for the most part dating back to the 18th century.

    The Stories of the New Testament stand out, a cycle of four canvases painted by Antonio Paglia in 1741. Two are placed on both sides of the entrance (Jesus in the garden and the Baptism of Christ), and two on the sides of the presbytery (the Annunciation and the Birth of Jesus).

    On the first altar on the right, there is a canvas dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Cesare Bortolotti, and on the second altar on the right, a painting of Sant’Anna dying by Luigi Campini.

    The first altarpiece on the left, dedicated to Saints Erasmus and Venanzio, is by Giuseppe Tortelli, while on the second altar on the left, we can find the Compassion of San Zeno by the Bolognese Francesco Monti. Above the north side entrance, there is the Death of Sant’Anna by the same painter.

    The Baroque sculptural complex of the main altar is also of great value. A thin balustrade of yellow marble pillars and wrought iron elements seems to embrace the altar, on which rises a prestigious tabernacle with lapis lazuli and rare stones, surmounted by a Cerulean marble tribune, supported by twisted columns. The altarpiece, from 1739, is the work of the Milanese Giovanni Battista Sassi.

     

    HOW TO GET THERE

    The Church of San Zeno al Foro is located about 1.7 kilometers away from the Brescia railway station. The closest bus stop, Piazza Martiri di Belfiore, is located about 270 meters away, on the bus Lines 2, 6, 10, 11, 17 and 18.

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