The Zverin Monastery is one of the oldest Russian monasteries, founded not later than the 12th century. It was first mentioned in the chronicles as a female monastery in 1148. By that time, the monastery already existed, and the wooden Intercession Church was destroyed by lightning. The name of the monastery, which derives from the Russian wordзверь - a mammal - originates from Zverinets, a wooden area where the monastery was built. Zverinets is mentioned in the chronicles in 1069, but the monastery was still not built. Archbishop Vasily Kalika built a stone Intercession Church in 1335. This is the oldest building of the monastery which survived. The present stone Church of St. Simeon the God-Receiver was built in the monastery in 1467 on the site of an earlier wooden one, which was built in 1399. The stone church was built to commemorate victims of the plague.
Between 1611 and 1617, during the Time of Troubles, Novgorod was occupied by the Swedes, and the monastery was considerably damaged. In 1721, it was abolished as a separate entity and subordinated to the Syrkov Monastery. In 1727, it was re-established. Between 1840 and 1860, a wall was constructed, and in 1899-1901 the new Intercession Cathedral was built. In the end of the 20th century, about forty nuns lived in the monastery. In the 1920s, after the October Revolution, the monastery was abolished. The buildings were badly damaged during World War II. The restoration works started in the 1960s. Currently, the monastery hosts a seminary for the Novgorod eparchy.
Today three churches have survived. The Church of Saint Simeon, constructed in 1467, is a small church with one apse and one dome. In the 19th century, a secondary building was added from the western side of the church. Frescoes of the 15th century survived.
The Intercession Church, built in 1399, was before 1682 consecrated to the Holy Virgin. It was considerably rebuilt in the beginning of the 17th century, after the Swedes devastated the monastery, and again in 1899-1901, when the cathedral was constructed next to the church.
The Intercession Cathedral was constructed in 1899-1901 in the eclectic style. It is the tallest building in the monastery and has five domes.
The Zverin Monastery is on the World Heritage list as a part Historic Monuments of Novgorod and Surroundings.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.