The site of Crichton Collegiate Church may have been the location of an old Christian shrine. In about 1440 William Crichton, 1st Lord Crichton, Lord Chancellor of Scotland started to build a church there. On 26 December 1449 he opened the church. Like many other collegiate churches, Crichton was built for the use of the local lord, and a provost, eight prebendaries, two choir boys and a sacrist were appointed to pray for the souls of the Crichton family. The provost was granted the tiends and tithes of the prebends, the Rectory of Crichton and the Temple lands appertaining to Crichton.
The church was built in a Gothic and Romanesque cruciform style with a large central tower; the nave was used as the place of worship for the poor people. However the Crichton family supported the claimant Alexander Stewart, Duke of Albany, in the 15th century, fell out of favour with the Scottish Crown and the Crichton lands were forfeited. During the Scottish Reformation of 1560 the glass was taken from the windows, the floor converted back to earth and the medieval stone tracery destroyed. The chancel roof was still extant but the church was a ruin and considered unusable for services.
By 1569 it was being used as the parish kirk (church) and a minister, Adam Johnston, was ordained to lead the service. By the 1580s, major restoration work began, though the nave was said to be ruinous, as it is to this day. In 1641, by an Act of Parliament, Crichton Church was declared to be the parish church for all time. Though there was more restoration and adaptation in 1729 it was considered to have been carried out 'badly'. More work in the 1820s helped to bring the old church back to life, but it was not until the end of the 19th century that the church was fully restored, by the Edinburgh architects Hardy & Wright. Stained glass windows made by the Edinburgh company Ballantine and Gardener, new oak pews and a pipe organ built by the Glasgow company Joseph Brook were installed. The Church of Scotland closed the church in 1992 and the Crichton Collegiate Church Trust acquired the property. The Trust restored the organ, stained glass windows, lighting and the tower.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.