Brescia, the Siege AD 1238

Brescia AD 1238: the Great Siege

AD 1238: Frederick II and the Siege of Brescia
AD 1238: Federico II e l'Assedio di Brescia
Brescia (Lombardia region) ITALY

The Event

Brescia is located in the upper Po Valley at the foot of the Alps, not far from the lakes Garda and Iseo, in region Lombardy about 105 km from Milan. The city is also known as the "Lioness of Italy" because of the ten days of courageous uprising against Habsburg Empire in 1849 AD during the Risorgimento (the 19thcentury Italian independence wars). Brescia has a remarkable historical and artistic heritage and very ancient origins being founded in the late Bronze Age by the Ligures or the Etruscans. The city became the capital of the Cenomani celtic tribe in the 4th century BC, then in 225 BC a Roman colony by name Brixia (probably from the celtic word “brig” meaning hill), and finally, after the fall of the Roman Empire the capital of a duchy of Langobards. During the Middle Ages Brescia, as a free commune (a medieval city-state), played a key role in the struggles between the rebel cities of northern Italy and the German Holy Roman Emperor, surviving even to the great siege laid by the Emperor Frederick II in 1238 AD.

And that glorious episode of the siege is celebrated every year through a great historical event featuring hundreds of reenactors from all over Italy. Venue of the event is the Castle of Brescia located atop a hill with a beautiful panorama, a fine collection of weapons from the Middle Ages onwards, the Risorgimento Museum, an astronomical observatory and a model railroads exhibition. After the crushing victory at the Battle of Cortenuova (AD 1237) over the Lombard League formed by the Italian rebel cities, Frederick II decided to attack Brescia in summer of 1238 deploying a vast army of about 20,000 men from different countries and nationalities (Italian and German knights, but also British, French, Spanish, Provencal, Byzantines and even Saracens mercenaries) with several siege machines (towers, ballista, mangonels, trebuchets, catapults). Nevertheless, the city managed to strenuously resist. After months of fierce siege, several attacks by the Imperials and sorties by the besieged, and atrocities committed by both sides, Frederick II decided to withdraw. The programme includes the medieval crafts market, guided tours at the historical camps, lectures, archery displays and tournament, knights jousting and duels, music concerts.

The Programme

Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.

Info & Contact

Confraternita del Leone
Address: Via Montello, 1 - 25050 Rodengo Saiano (Brescia)
Mob.: +39 3332908304
Fax: +39 (0)302772617

Brescia City Council
Address: Piazza della Loggia, 1 - 25121 Brescia, Italy
Tel.: +39 (0)30 29771
Ufficio Turismo
Address: Piazza della Loggia n. 13/b - 25121 Brescia, Italy
Tel.: +39 (0)30 2400357 - Fax: +39 (0)30 3773773

Province of Brescia
Address: Palazzo Broletto, Piazza Paolo VI, 29 - 25100 Brescia, Italy
Tel.: +39 (0)30 3748555

Image: Confraternita del Leone
Text sources: Confraternita del Leone, Brescia City Council, Wikipedia


Brescia and its castle on Google Maps:



Promos and video reportages of the event:





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