Plankstetten Abbey was founded in 1129 as a private monastery of the bishops of Eichstätt by Count Ernst of Hirschberg and his brother Gebhard of Hirschberg, Bishop of Eichstätt. The Romanesque crypt remains from the time of the foundation.
After the decline in monastic standards in the 15th century, the abbey was reformed by Abbot Ulrich IV Dürner (1461–94), who also founded the brewery. The abbey was badly damaged during the German Peasants' War (1525) and again in the Thirty Years' War (1618–48).
Major buildings works in the Baroque style were undertaken from the end of the 17th century. Under Abbot Romanus Dettinger (1694–1703), he created the entrance gateway with the abbot's lodging above it, the Prelates' Hall and the Banqueting Hall, as well as the corner tower on the way to the inner courtyard. The next abbot, Dominikus II Heuber (1704–11), continued the building works with the move of the sacristy and the construction of the new brewery (now the library).
Later in the century, Abbot Dominikus IV Fleischmann (1757–92) undertook the refurbishment of the abbey church. The crossing chapels are due to him; their stucco work was carried out by Johann Jakob Berg, stucco master to the court of Eichstätt. Dominikus IV was also responsible for the guesthouse opposite the main gateway.
In 1806, in the course of the secularisation of Bavaria, the monastery was dissolved and the buildings and estates auctioned off. As early as 1856, there were plans to re-found the abbey, but these came to nothing, as the government authorities refused to give the necessary consents.
Finally, in 1904, thanks to the financial support of the Barons Cramer-Klett, Plankstetten was re-settled as a priory of Scheyern Abbey and was raised again to the status of abbey in 1917. In 1958, a 'Realschule' with a boarding house was opened in Bavaria. The school closed in 1988. This caused the abbey to re-examine their role and possible options, and the community now runs a training centre, a monastery shop, a farm, a nursery for plants, a butchery and a bakery, which have been organic since 1994. The boarding facilities are now used as a guesthouse.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.