Achalm is a ruined castle located above the towns of Reutlingen and Pfullingen. Situated on the top of a hill at the edge of the Swabian Alb the ruins of the 11th century castle are topped by a look-out tower from 1838.
Achalm Castle was built around 1030 by Gaugraf Egino and Rudolf of Achalm. The name Achalm appears to refer to a nearby stream, the Ach which comes from the River Alm. The castle was expanded in the 11th Century with a second tower. However the von Achalm family died out shortly thereafter. The castle passed through several owners including the House of Welf. In 1234 the son of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, King Henry VII, rebelled against his father, the Emperor. The owner of Castle Achalm, Heinrich of Neuffen, sided with the rebellious King Henry VII. Following the Emperor's victory over his son Henry VII, Castle Achalm became the personal property of the Emperor's family, the House of Hohenstaufen. Castle Achalm remained a Hohenstaufen property for a time. The castle then passed into the control of the House of Württemberg. In 1377 Graf or Count Ulrich of Württemberg marched from the castle to attack the town of Reutlingen. While he besieged the city, troops from the Swabian Cities League marched to defend the city. Ulrich's troops were defeated and Reutlingen remained a Free Imperial City.
Over the following centuries, the castle began to lose its military value and began to collapse. During the later years of the Thirty Years' War, in 1650, the castle was partially destroyed to prevent enemy forces from using the castle for shelter. Later the stones were removed to build houses in the village. In 1822 the future king and emperor William I had a stone look-out tower built on the foundation of the old tower. The tower was repaired and renovated in 1932 to prevent it from collapsing.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.