Alling Abbey, dedicated to Saint John, was built at the lower end of Alling Lake near the town of Svostrup sometime before 1250. There was a connection between the closure of Vejerslev Abbey in 1231 and the building of the abbey at Alling which was partially filled with 'unruly' monks from Vejerslev. The constructed abbey is mentioned first in 1250.
The abbey was constructed in the familiar pattern. Three ranges adjoined St. John's Church forming a four-sided enclosure to separate the monks from the world. The east range contained the chapter hall and dormitory. The north range was the refectory, work area, perhaps scriptorium, and cellars for storage. The west range housed the lay brothers who lived in the abbey and performed much of the worldly work required to keep the monastery operating. To the south was St. John's Church, with a single nave, choir and angular apse. It had no tower. Since the abbey was isolated from any town, the church was used only by the monks or occasional travellers. Women were not permitted, except on holy days. A canal was dug from Grønbæk to bring fresh water to the monastery and then carry it off to Alling Lake.
Over the centuries the abbey came into possession of many farms and owned the rights to most of the churches in the area. For most of the time the abbey had running disputes with the Bishops of Århus over income properties.
The Danish Reformation in 1536 brought all religious institutions and their income properties to the crown. In 1538 Abbot Hans Lauridsen, the abbey's last, turned the keys over to Johannes Hŏcken, a secular nobleman (lensmand) to look after the king's interest in the property. He then took off his habit and became the first Lutheran pastor at Svostrup Church. The monks were permitted to remain for a time until the abbey was closed sometime before 1540.
The property was mortgaged to Johan Hŏcken in 1539 and 1543. The mortgage was redeemed by Jakob Berthelsen, bailiff of Silkeborg Castle in 1573 and the entire abbey was razed for the building materials that could be sold from the site. The archives of the abbey were moved to Silkeborg Castle, inventoried in the late 16th century, and then disappeared. A few letters between abbots and other church leaders exist in the State Archive.
Several excavations, the latest in 1989, identified the abbey's precise location, so that it has been completely mapped. The site has been protected as a national historic location since 1901. Portions of the foundation have been left exposed so visitors can see how the abbey was laid out.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.