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"Brescia" to "Bulgaria"
Release Date: April 13, 2007 [EBook #19699]
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*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA ***
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contributed three volumes in collaboration with Mouchet (1769-1783). Charged with the supervision of a
large collection of documents bearing on French history, analogous to Rymer'sFoedera, he published the first
volume (Diplomatat. Chartae, &c., 1791). The Revolution interrupted him in his collection ofMémoires
finely situated at the foot of the Alps, 52 m. E. of Milan and 40 m. W. of Verona by rail. Pop. (1901) town,
42,495; commune, 72,731. The plan of the city is rectangular, and the streets intersect at right angles, a
peculiarity handed down from Roman times, though the area enclosed by the medieval walls is larger than that
of the Roman town, which occupied the eastern portion of the present one. The Piazza del Museo marks the
site of the forum, and the museum on its north side is ensconced in a Corinthian temple with threecellae, by
some attributed to Hercules, but more probably the Capitolium of the city, erected by Vespasian in A.D. 73 (if
the inscription really belongs to the building; cf. Th. Mommsen in Corp. Inscrip. Lat. v. No. 4312, Berlin,
1872), and excavated in 1823. It contains a famous bronze statue of Victory, found in 1826. Scanty remains of
a building on the south side of the forum, called thecuria, but which may be a basilica, and of the theatre, on
the east of the temple, still exist.
Brescia contains many interesting medieval buildings. The castle, at the north-east angle of the town,
commands a fine view. It is now a military prison. The old cathedral is a round domed structure of the 10th (?)
century erected over an early Christian basilica, which has forty-two ancient columns; and the Broletto,
adjoining the new cathedral (a building of 1604) on the north, is a massive building of the 12th and 13th
centuries (the original town hall, now the prefecture and law courts), with a lofty tower. There are also
remains of the convent of S. Salvatore, founded by Desiderius, king of Lombardy, including three churches,
two of which now contain the fine medieval museum, which possesses good ivories. The church of S.
Francesco has a Gothic façade and cloisters. There are also some good Renaissance palaces and other
buildings, including the Municipio, begun in 1492 and completed by Jacopo Sansovino in 1554-1574. This is
a magnificent structure, with fine ornamentation. The church of S. Maria dei Miracoli (1488-1523) is also
noteworthy for its general effect and for the richness of its details, especially of the reliefs on the façade.
Many other churches, and the picture gallery (Galleria Martinengo), contain fine works of the painters of the
Brescian school, Alessandro Bonvicino (generally known as Moretto), Girolamo Romanino and Moretto's
pupil, Giovanni Battista Moroni. The Biblioteca Queriniana contains early MSS., a 14th-century MS. of
Dante, &c., and some rare incunabula. The city is well supplied with water, and has no less than seventy-two
public fountains. Brescia has considerable factories of iron ware, particularly fire-arms and weapons (one of
the government small arms factories being situated here), also of woollens, linens and silks, matches, candles,
&c. The stone quarries of Mazzano, 8 m. east of Brescia, supplied material for the monument to Victor
Emmanuel II. and other buildings in Rome. Brescia is situated on the main railway line between Milan and
Verona, and has branch railways to Iseo, Parma, Cremona and (via Rovato) to Bergamo, and steam tramways
to Mantua, Soncino, Ponte Toscolano and Cardone Valtrompia.
The ancient Celtic Brixia, a town of the Cenomani, became Roman in 225 B.C., when the Cenomani
submitted to Rome. Augustus founded a civil (not a military) colony here in 27 B.C., and he and Tiberius
constructed an aqueduct to supply it. In 452 it was plundered by Attila, but was the seat of a duchy in the
Lombard period. From 1167 it was one of the most active members of the Lombard League. In 1258 it fell
into the hands of Eccelino of Verona, and belonged to the Scaligers (della Scala) until 1421, when it came
under the Visconti of Milan, and in 1426 under Venice. Early in the 16th century it was one of the wealthiest
cities of Lombardy, but has never recovered from its sack by the French under Gaston de Foix in 1512. It
belonged to Venice until 1797, when it came under Austrian dominion; it revolted in 1848, and again in 1849,
being the only Lombard town to rally to Charles Albert in the latter year, but was taken after ten days'
obstinate street fighting by the Austrians under Haynau.
see, situated in a wide and fertile plain on both banks of the navigable Oder, 350 m. from its mouth, at the
influx of the Ohle, and 202 m. from Berlin on the railway to Vienna. Pop. (1867) 171,926; (1880) 272,912;
(1885) 299,640; (1890) 335,186; (1905) 470,751, about 60% being Protestants, 35% Roman Catholics and
nearly 5% Jews. The Oder, which here breaks into several arms, divides the city into two unequal halves,
crossed by numerous bridges. The larger portion, on the left bank, includes the old or inner town, surrounded
by beautiful promenades, on the site of the ramparts, dismantled after 1813, from an eminence within which,
the Liebichs Höhe, a fine view is obtained of the surrounding country. Outside, as well as across the Oder, lies
the new town with extensive suburbs, containing, especially in the Schweidnitz quarter in the south, and the
Oder quarter in the north, many handsome streets and spacious squares. The inner town, in contrast to the
suburbs, still retains with its narrow streets much of its ancient characters, and contains several medieval
buildings, both religious and secular, of great beauty and interest. The cathedral, dedicated to St John the
Baptist, was begun in 1148 and completed at the close of the 15th century, enlarged in the 17th and 18th
centuries, and restored between 1873 and 1875; it is rich in notable treasures, especially the high altar of
beaten silver, and in beautiful paintings and sculptures. The Kreuzkirche (church of the Holy Cross), dating
from the 13th and 14th centuries, is an interesting brick building, remarkable for its stained glass and its
historical monuments, among which is the tomb of Henry IV., duke of Silesia. The Sandkirche, so called from
its dedication to Our Lady on the Sand, dates from the 14th century, and was until 1810 the church of the
Augustinian canons. The Dorotheenor Minoritenkirche, remarkable for its high-pitched roof, was founded by
the emperor Charles IV. in 1351. These are the most notable of the Roman Catholic churches. Of the
Evangelical churches the most important is that of St Elizabeth, founded about 1250, rebuilt in the 14th and
15th centuries, and restored in 1857. Its lofty tower contains the largest bell in Silesia, and the church
possesses a celebrated organ, fine stained glass, a magnificent stone pyx (erected in 1455) over 52 ft. high,
and portraits of Luther and Melanchthon by Lucas Cranach. The church of St Mary Magdalen, built in the
14th century on the model of the cathedral, has two lofty Gothic towers connected by a bridge, and is
interesting as having been the church in which, in 1523, the reformation in Silesia was first proclaimed. Other
noteworthy ecclesiastical buildings are the graceful Gothic church of St Michael built in 1871, the bishop's
palace and the Jewish synagogue, the finest in Germany after that in Berlin.
The business streets of the city converge upon the Ring, the market square, in which is the town-hall, a fine
Gothic building, begun in the middle of the 14th and completed in the 16th century. Within is the Fürstensaal,
in which the diets of Silesia were formerly held, while beneath is the famous Schweidnitzer Keller, used
continuously since 1355 as a beer and wine house. [v.04 p.0499]The university, a spacious Gothic building
facing the Oder, is a striking edifice. It was built (1728-1736) as a college by the Jesuits, on the site of the
former imperial castle presented to them by the emperor Leopold I., and contains a magnificent hall (Aula
Leopoldina), richly ornamented with frescoes and capable of holding 1200 persons. Breslau possesses a large
number of other important public buildings: the Stadthaus (civic hall), the royal palace, the government
offices (a handsome pile erected in 1887), the provincial House of Assembly, the municipal archives, the
courts of law, the Silesian museum of arts and crafts and antiquities, stored in the former assembly hall of the
estates (Ständehaus), which was rebuilt for the purpose, the museum of fine arts, the exchange, the Stadt and
Lobe theatres, the post office and central railway station. There are also numerous hospitals and schools.
Breslau is exceedingly rich in fine monuments; the most noteworthy being the equestrian statues of Frederick
the Great and Frederick William III., both by Kiss; the statue of Blücher by Rauch; a marble statue of General
Tauentzien by Langhans and Schadow; a bronze statue of Karl Gottlieb Svarez (1746-1798), the Prussian
jurist, a monument to Schleiermacher, born here in 1768, and statues of the emperor William I., Bismarck and
Moltke. There are also several handsome fountains. Foremost among the educational establishments stands
the university, founded in 1702 by the emperor Leopold I. as a Jesuit college, and greatly extended by the
incorporation of the university of Frankfort-on-Oder in 1811. Its library contains 306,000 volumes and 4000
MSS., and has in the so-called Bibliotheca Habichtiana a valuable collection of oriental literature. Among its
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