Castle in Brescia
The Bonoris Castle of Montichiari was built around 1107, on the hill of San Pancrazio. In the middle of the 17th century the building was abandoned, and in 1862 most of the walls collapsed. In 1891 Count Bonoris decided to restructure the castle himself, with the help of Carlo Menchiotti. In 1996 the building was repurchased by the Municipality of Montichiari.
In 1890, Gaetano Bonoris, a young banker honoured with nobility by King Umberto I of Savoy, acquired the remnants of the ancient Rocca di Montichiari. Expressing a desire to transform it into his residence, he envisioned a fairy-tale architecture reflecting his romanticized Middle Ages. Initially entrusted to Brescian architect Antonio Tagliaferri, the reconstruction in neo-Gothic style faced disagreements and was ultimately completed by Bonoris himself with the assistance of a new designer, Carlo Melchiotti. In this phase, inspiration from the Borgo and Rocca Medievali of Turin, built in 1884, became the ideal prototype.
The interior of the castle mirrored this aesthetic, featuring rich painted decorations executed by craftsmen involved in Turin’s medieval village construction. Giuseppe Rollini spearheaded the exquisite paintings between 1897 and 1901, with the chapel and council room standing out. The furniture, carved as unique pieces, drew inspiration from sixteenth-century models by the Arboletti brothers of Turin. In 1901, Giuseppe Roda, a landscape architect linked to the Savoy court, redesigned the surrounding hill area, creating a three-hectare English park and a panoramic “secret” garden.
After changing ownership, the Bonoris Castle became property of the Municipality of Montichiari in 1996. Catalog data for interior furnishings and preparatory watercolours can be explored on the Rete dei Musei dell’800 Lombardo web portal.
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Visiting Bonoris Castle
Saturday 3:00pm-7pm; Sun 10:00am-12:00pm – 3:00pm-7:00pm (from May to October) (Last entrance 40 minutes before closing time). Closed on 1 April, 1 May, and 15 August.
€ 8.00. Combined ticket with admission to Lechi Museum