The third-largest dome in Italy
The Duomo nuovo (New Cathedral), dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, is Brescia’s Summer Co-Cathedral, which stands adjacent to the Winter Co-Cathedral, the Duomo vecchio (Old Cathedral). Located in Piazza Paolo VI, it was built between 1604 and 1825 on the site of the early-Christian Basilica of San Pietro de Dom built between the 5th and 6th centuries.
Following the new architectural style of the Counter-Reformation, the new church was designed as a monumental building with a Greek cross layout, three naves, a transept and an apsidal presbytery. The Corinthian columns that support the curved tympanum, containing the bust of Cardinal Angelo Maria Querini, create an impressive and grandiose Botticino marble façade. A high cornice separates the upper part, which only covers the centre-front of the building, mirroring the underlying design with a large window and triangular tympanum surmounted by statues.
Work was completed in 1825 with the construction of the imposing 80-metre-high dome, the third largest in Italy after those of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence. Marble busts of the Evangelists decorate the four pendentives. The entire interior is imbued with a blue-white light by the stucco and white marble covering every surface.