The Dominican Priory (Sortebrødrekloster) was an important Dominican monastery in Viborg during the Middle Ages. Viborg Priory was established around 1227 by Bishop Gunnar of Viborg. It is first mentioned in the church annals in 1246 when donations to the priory are listed. The priory church was completed towards the end of the 13th century in red brick in the Gothic style and consisted of a choir, sacristy, and central nave. It was located on the north of the priory so as to be near the town. Women were excluded from the church except during church holidays. It was unusual in that preaching was in the Danish language from 1254.
The priory complex consisted of four ranges built in a rectangle around a central courtyard. One of the wings was a dormitory which had individual cells for the friars and places for novices and lay brothers. The Dominican custom was to sleep fully clothed, including footgear, so that they would be ready to travel at a moment's notice. The chapter room was used for meetings and for receiving important guests. The refectory was used as a communal dining hall connected to the bakery, brewery, and storage areas. The friars had a modest library and study hall. Another wing was for guests and a hospital. Over time, through the gifts of local residents, the priory acquired land, farms and a brickworks, worked by servants, lay brothers or compulsory work owed by local farms. A wall encircled the entire priory, and the entrances were so narrow that they prevented anyone from riding or driving into the open courtyard.
The Reformation brought an end to the priory in Viborg and to the Dominicans in Denmark. Both Franciscans and Dominicans felt the effects of the religious reforms which swept through Denmark in the early 16th century. Many Danes felt that the tithes, fees, and work due to religious houses were a burden on a generally poor country. Dominicans and Franciscans, as mendicant orders, added to that burden by requiring constant donations of food, fuel, drink, and services from the local population. Frederick I and Christian III, both of whom were reform-minded kings, received letters of complaint about the mendicant orders and in 1527 began granting local requests to close monasteries. Force was used to shut down religious houses in 27 town in Denmark, including Viborg. In a letter dated 23 February 1529 the king ordered that the priory should be dissolved, that the church was to become a parish church, and that citizen Jens Hvas was to take possession of the priory buildings as personal property.
A fire damaged the priory buildings in 1552 and it appears they were pulled down and the materials used in other houses and businesses in Viborg. The church continued to serve as the parish church for the southern part of Viborg (whence it was known as the Søndre Sognkirke, or 'southern parish church'). A narrow tower was added to the front of the priory church in 1696-1701 with funds raised by Christen Erichsøn, the local parish priest.
The town fire of 1726 weakened the remaining structure so badly that church officials decided to demolish the church and to combine the 'priory parish' with the 'cathedral parish' until it could be rebuilt. Construction began immediately using the groundplan of the original medieval church in the same style of red brick. Work was substantially completed in 1728. The tower had a high narrow spire on top.
King Frederick IV donated an altarpiece, constructed in Antwerp in 1520 by Mogens Christian Thrane, with dozens of pictures depicting scenes from the New Testament, fromChristianborg Palace chapel in Copenhagen. It is the pride of the modern church. The church was restored in 1876, and the tower spire replaced with a stepped brick top which reflects the usual Danish parish tower architecture. In 1912-1917 the church underwent an even more extensive restoration which is the church that may be still seen today. In the tower hang three bells: the two oldest from 1729 cast by Caspar Kønig, and the most recent cast by De Smithske and added to the tower in 1929.References:
Royal Palace of Naples was one of the four residences near Naples used by the Bourbon Kings during their rule of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (1734-1860): the others were the palaces of Caserta, Capodimonte overlooking Naples, and the third Portici, on the slopes of Vesuvius.
Construction on the present building was begun in the 17th century by the architect Domenico Fontana. Intended to house the King Philip III of Spain on a visit never fulfilled to this part of his kingdom, instead it initially housed the Viceroy Fernando Ruiz de Castro, count of Lemos. By 1616, the facade had been completed, and by 1620, the interior was frescoed by Battistello Caracciolo, Giovanni Balducci, and Belisario Corenzio. The decoration of the Royal Chapel of Assumption was not completed until 1644 by Antonio Picchiatti.
In 1734, with the arrival of Charles III of Spain to Naples, the palace became the royal residence of the Bourbons. On the occasion of his marriage to Maria Amalia of Saxony in 1738, Francesco De Mura and Domenico Antonio Vaccaro helped remodel the interior. Further modernization took place under Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies. In 1768, on the occasion of his marriage to Maria Carolina of Austria, under the direction of Ferdinando Fuga, the great hall was rebuilt and the court theater added. During the second half of the 18th century, a 'new wing' was added, which in 1927 became the Vittorio Emanuele III National Library. By the 18th century, the royal residence was moved to Reggia of Caserta, as that inland town was more defensible from naval assault, as well as more distant from the often-rebellious populace of Naples.
During the Napoleonic occupation the palace was enriched by Joachim Murat and his wife, Caroline Bonaparte, with Neoclassic decorations and furnishings. However, a fire in 1837 damaged many rooms, and required restoration from 1838 to 1858 under the direction of Gaetano Genovese. Further additions of a Party Wing and a Belvedere were made in this period. At the corner of the palace with San Carlo Theatre, a new facade was created that obscured the viceroyal palace of Pedro de Toledo.
In 1922, it was decided to transfer here the contents of the National Library. The transfer of library collections was made by 1925.
The library suffered from bombing during World War II and the subsequent military occupation of the building caused serious damage. Today, the palace and adjacent grounds house the famous Teatro San Carlo, the smaller Teatrino di Corte (recently restored), the Biblioteca Nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, a museum, and offices, including those of the regional tourist board.