The ruins of Werdenfels Castle stand about 80 metres above the Loisach valley between Garmisch and Farchant. The castle ruins are freely accessible and are a popular hiking destination with a good view of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Wetterstein Mountains.
The castle was probably built between 1180 and 1230. Its owner and the purpose of the original fortification are also unknown. In 1249, ownership of the fortress was transferred to the Prince-Bishopric of Freising. In 1294 Count Berthold III of Eschenlohe gave the Bishopric part of his county and was appointed as the castle guardian. After the creation of Freising territory, the County of Werdenfels, the castle served as the administrative and jurdical centre.
In the 15th century, Freising had to enfeoff the castle several times due to financial difficulties. The structural condition of the castle seems to have deteriorated to the beginning of the 17th century such that the governor's seat was moved in 1632 into a new administrative building on the Wang. From 1676 the fortress was exploited as a quarry. For example, numerous stone blocks from castle were re-used for the new baroque parish churches of Farchant and Garmisch.
As part of the seizure of church land in the Napoleonic era, the castle and county went to the Kingdom of Bavaria. In 1822 the Bavarian privy council, Ignaz von Rudhart, acquired the ruins, since when it has been privately owned.
In 1905-06, the walls were secured and partially rebuilt. After the tops of the walls were secured in 1961/63, further restoration finally began in 1986; this has continued sporadically since.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.