Sint-Laurenskerk church is built on the spot of an earlier roman church that was destroyed in 1360, when the Prince-Bishopric of Liège fought with the County of Loon. The Jus patronatus was in the hands of the powerful Herkenrode Abbey. Construction of the church was begun in the 14th century, and the tower, which is built in marl stone, was completed in 1411. The nave was completed in 1476. In 1585 the church was plundered by the troops of Willem the Silent, and the roof and top of the tower were severely damaged in a storm in 1608. Repairs were not completed before 1720.
In 1910 the church was expanded with two bays, and to achieve this the tower was moved approximately 10 meters under the direction of the German-American engineer of Budapest, Henry Weiss. On 13 September 1944 the church burned during the retreat of the German occupying forces, and many treasures were lost. The church was rebuilt in 1950 under the direction of the architect Van den Dael.
Today, the Sint-Laurentiuskerk is late Gothic with a neo-gothic main altar with a retable dating from around 1500, depicting six scenes from the Life of Mary. The shutters depict scenes from the life of Saint Laurence. The church contains a church tabernacle from the second half of the 16th century, and two confessionals in baroque style. The church also has nine sculptures of saints and a 3 meter high statue of Saint Christopher.References:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.