A medieval fortress within walking distance of the city centre
Brescia Castle is an excellently preserved medieval fortress from which you can enjoy splendid panoramic views of the city. Sat atop Cidneo hill, which rises up near the historic centre, it is accessible on foot or by car. The second largest fortified complex in Europe, it bore witness to the communal period and Visconti rule. You can admire its Keep, the mighty Prisoners Tower, the massive bastions and Mirabella Tower, the last remnants of the church of Santo Stefano in Arce.
Beyond the moat, it houses the “Luigi Marzoli” Arms Museum, one of Europe’s largest collections of antique weapons and armour. It also boasts the first example of a railway monument in Italy, the “Number 1” locomotive that once travelled the Brescia-Edolo railway line. The Castle was also Italy’s first public astronomical observatory: the Bastione San Marco, where it is located, is a must for all astronomy enthusiasts.
The complex has many underground routes, including the oil storehouses, ancient water reservoirs and the Strada del Soccorso, an ancient escape route. They are all open to visitors, thanks to an excursion calendar organised by the Associazione Speleologica Bresciana.
If you visit on the first weekend of June, you can attend the “Frederick II and the Siege of Brescia” Medieval Festival, which re-enacts the city’s fierce resistance against Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor.