The interior of the Sant’Alessandro Church in Brescia is almost entirely the result of a reconstruction carried out by Donegani in the 18th century. The church consists of a single nave, with four chapels on either side. The highlight is an “Annunciation” by Jacopo Bellini. After bombings in World War II, extensive repairs were necessary.
Sant’Alessandro Church Brescia
Address: Via Moretto, 78 – 25121 Brescia. Opening hours: From 08:30 to 10:30 and from 16:30 to 18:30. Entrance fee: Free of charge.
History and description
As early as the 5th century there was a church on the site where the Sant’Alessandro Church is built. This would have happened by order of Bishop Gaudioso. At that time the church was still outside the city walls.
In 1430, this church came under the control of the Order of the Servites of Mary. Thanks to financial aid from the Venetian Captain Gentile da Leonessa, the church was thoroughly rebuilt.
The new Sant’Alessandro Church was consecrated in 1466 and rebuilt between 1782 and 1794. During the work, the urn containing the remains of San Gaudioso was found.
In 1769, a gunpowder factory exploded in the city, severely damaging the church. A fresco cycle by the hand of Lattanzio Gambara and Camillo Rama was destroyed in the process. Repair work was so expensive that the façade remained unfinished for a long time.
The 18th century rebuilding was led by the architect Giovanni Donegani, who came from Brescia itself. Eventually, architect Carlo Melchiotti would complete the facade between 1894 and 1903, although he used Donegani’s drawings.
The two cloisters were destroyed in bombings during World War II.
The interior consists of a single nave with eight side chapels. To reduce costs, a marble-like stone was used for the columns flanking these chapels.
The most famous work of art in the church is Bellini’s “Annunciation.” Antonio Callegari was responsible for some sculptures.