A unique Baroque theater in Brescia: Santa Maria della Carità


In Italy, a church is often built in many different styles, like layers of time. Santa Maria della Carità in Brescia is different, a unique Baroque triumph. The gaze runs around restlessly, following the movement of the lines and the spirals. Through colors and enchanting structures, the lines run in juxtaposition to the paintings with the stories of the Virgin.

The octagonal plan refers to the symbolism of number eight, also hidden in the altars, in the columns, in the pointed stars of the planking level. The number eight revokes the baptism mystery and the infinite. The name, Santa Maria della Carità (Madonna of Charity), derives from the institute founded by the Countess Laura Gambara. The place hosted the girls raped by the French soldiers during the Sack of Brescia in 1512.

Inside the church, there is an accurate replica of the Mary's House of Loreto. The reproduction recalls the original in Bethlehem. There are also marble sculptures and interesting paintings, as the Late Gothic polyptych by Parotus. People consider miraculous the altarpiece fresco. Two columns, besides the entrance portal, are of Egyptian marble. They come from the Roman ruins of Piazza del Foro.