Through the Nádasdy family, the castle of Sárvár, now called Nádasdy Castle, played a significant role in the progress of Hungarian culture in the 16th and 17th centuries. The first Hungarian book, The New Testament of 1541, was printed here. The knight's hall of the castle is decorated with the battle scenes of Lord Chief Justice Ferenc Nádasdy (married to the notorious Elizabeth Báthory) and with scenes from the Old Testament.
The Nádasdy Castle and estate later became a property of the kings of Bavaria, and the former King Ludwig III died there in 1921, three years after being deposed. During the Second World War, the castle was used as the retreat of Ludwig's grandson Prince Albert of Bavaria.
The present day castle has developed from the three-storey, 13th century dwelling tower in its southwest corner and the single-storey northern wing. The castle’s first mention is from 1288. The next great building operations took place in the second half of the 15th century, in Gothic style. During the times of the Kanizsai family a three-storey dwelling structure adorned with representative objects and suitable for nobility was raised where the southern wing stands today. The lower level of the present-day gate-tower was created at the end of the 15th century. By the beginning of the 16th century the large, closed courtyard came into existence, while the castle’s protection, apart from its natural assets, was assured by earth ramparts with notched planks. Between 1534 and 1671 the Nádasdy family owned the castle. As a result of the Renaissance style constructions the castle’s current form took shape.
The ceiling frescoes of the Great Hall were done in 1653. The defensive system of Old Italian style bastions that can be seen today was built between 1588 and 1615. The ceiling frescoes of the Great Hall were created by Hans Rudolf Miller, while the wall pictures depicting images from the Old Testament were painted by István Dorffmeister in 1769. In 1803, the Archduke Ferdinand Estei bought the castle, which was renovated by his successor. The Renaissance arcade along the eastern wing was walled up. On the wing’s upper level corridors were built, so that the castle could be walked around. The water was drained from the castle moat, and the present-day bridge was built. During the 19th and 20th centuries only minor alterations took place, so even today the castle presents an image of the fortified late Renaissance castles of the 16th-17th centuries.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.