St. George's Abbey in Isny is a former Benedictine abbey founded in 1096 by the Counts of Altshausen-Veringen. In 1106 the foundation was confirmed by Pope Paschal II. Towards the end of the 12th century a Benedictine nunnery was also established in Isny but this was moved in about 1189 to Rohrdorf.
St. George's Abbey was responsible for the foundation of the town of Isny, which was developed as a market at the end of the 12th century and received municipal status as early as 1235. Both abbey and town enjoyed economic success, abruptly terminated by the plague in 1350, which almost wiped the abbey out.
During the Reformation the town of Isny became Protestant and in 1534 the abbey church was attacked and its sacred images destroyed. The abbey's economic situation only improved — temporarily — in the first third of the 17th century, which was brought to an end by a disastrous fire in 1631. The abbey did not recover until the time of abbot Alfons Torelli (1701–31). It did not become an Imperial abbey until 1781, as member of the Bench of Swabian Prelates.
The abbey was secularised in 1803, at the same time as the town of Isny was mediatised, when both became part of the territory of Count Otto Wilhelm von Quadt-Wykradt.
The first monastic buildings and the Romanesque abbey church burnt down in 1284. Immediately after the fire a hall church was constructed, which was dedicated in 1288. In the relatively brief period of prosperity that occurred in the first third of the 17th century much refurbishment and new building work took place, all of which were destroyed by the catastrophic fire in 1631. In about 1656 Michael Beer built the Baroque Neue Bau ('new building') and also repaired parts of the ruins of the former buildings.
The present abbey church was built by Giulio Barbieri between 1660 and 1666; the onion dome was added in 1709. In 1757-58 Johann Georg Gilt (of the Wessobrunner School of stuccoists) and Johann Michael Holzhey refurbished the church interior in the Rococo style.
After secularisation the monastic buildings served as the castle of the count and family. During the Third Reich it accommmodated the Hitler Youth until 1943. The premises were later used as an old people's home and nursing home.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.