Bellomo Palace Regional Gallery is situated in the premises of Bellomo Palace. The origins of the palace have been traced to the 12th century, the time of Hohenstaufen rule of Sicily. The palace still features a number of unusually well-preserved elements from this time. The main facade, as well as the basement and ground floor, still essentially retain the 12th-century appearance of the building.
Alterations were made in the 14th century and on a larger scale during the 15th century, when it belonged to the Bellomo family from which it derives its name. From this period, a number of details such as portals, mullioned windows and the staircase display influences from Catalan Gothic, a style which was popular on Sicily at the time (as Sicily was at the time part of the Crown of Aragon).
In the 18th century the palace and the neighbouring Parisio Palace were taken over by a Benedectine monastery who merged the buildings into one. In 1866 the palace was expropriated by the Italian state and serves as a museum since 1940. A renovation was carried out in 2004-2009.References:
Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.
The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.
At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.
‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.
Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.
The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.
The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.