The Monastery

sede il monastero

The building of the monastic complex of S. Eufemia della Fonte was started in the year 1008, by the Bishop of Brescia Landolfo founded this monastery and entrusted it to the Benedictines.

Chronicles tell us that the Benedictines settled in this area to carry out important water drainage and channelization works.

Also the proximity to the Naviglio, a barge canal that branched out from the river Chiese as far as Gavardo, touching S. Eufemia and penetrating into the eastern plain, proves how important this area was within the road communication network. The Benedictines used this water reservoirs for the laundry vats as well as for growing crops

The Monastery was initially dedicated to S. Paterio, twenty-third Bishop of Brescia, in the early seventh century, later, however, it was consecrated to S. Eufemia, a fiftheen years old girl who died after Diocleziano persecution.

For the first three centuries after its building along a major thoroughfare, the monastic complex of S. Eufemia used to play a significant role in the city’s life, even if its location laid it open to the continuous attacks of the various armies that aimed at conquering Brescia.

Its decline began in the 14th century but it was in 1438, when Brescia was under the dominion of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, that the Monastery was delivered the final blow. The Monks resolved to leave the Monastery and in 1444 the building of a new seat within the city walls was undertaken: the future Church of S. Afra and S. Eufemia.

In 1478, the ancient monastery was definitively disbanded.
It is reasonable to think that the monastery was turned into a farmhouse by the monks themselves, as some parts of the buildings date from the period between 1478 and 1797.

Though still owned by the diocesan curia, the buildings abandoned by the monks were used as warehouses until 1797, when Napoleon allotted them to Brescia Major National Hospital, which would later turn them into a rural settlement.

In 1979, what was remaining of the stately complex passed from the Major Hospital into the hands of the Municipality of Brescia, which in 1997 granted the usage right of the monastery premises to the Museo Mille Miglia Association.