Ursberg Abbey is a former Premonstratensian monastery, now a convent of the Franciscan St. Joseph's Congregation. The monastery, dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint John the Evangelist, was founded between 1126 and 1128 by the nobleman Wernher of Schwabegg-Balzhausen. It was the first Premonstratensian foundation in southern Germany. The monastery became an Imperial abbey in 1143.
As was usual with early Premonstratensian foundations, this was originally a double monastery, with a separate nunnery, which lasted until at least 1320 or so. Ursberg was very active in its early years in settling other Premonstratensian houses. This was largely due to the energetic prior Grimo, who was later declared Blessed. In 1128 Osterhofen near Passau was established, followed in about 1130 by Roggenburg Abbey and in 1135 by Kaisheim Abbey. In 1140 Premonstratensians from Ursberg took over Schäftlarn Abbey and in 1142 Bishop Otto of Freising used them for the foundation of Neustift.
The church was built in about 1230. Originally a Romanesque structure, it was refurbished in the Baroque style by the master builder of Wettenhausen Abbey, Josef Dossenberger the younger. The ceiling frescoes by Jakob Fröschle and Konrad Huber also stem from this period.
The Romanesque cross with the attendant figures of the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist is of especial note. The high altar is by J. Pflaum. The organ was built by Johann Nepomuk Holzhey.
The abbey was dissolved in 1803 in the course of the secularisation of Bavaria. The church became the parish church, and the priest's house and the regional court (Landgericht) of Krumbach were accommodated in the former monastic premises. In 1884 Father Dominikus Ringeisen managed to acquire the buildings, which were by then empty, where he set up a community of sisters for the care of the physically and mentally handicapped, now known as the Dominikus-Ringeisen-Werk. This endeavour developed into the St. Joseph's Congregation of Ursberg, a Franciscan community of about 270 sisters. In Ursberg, along with branches in Maria Bildhausen, the former Holzen Abbey, Pfaffenhausen and Breitbrunn am Ammersee, about 2,500 handicapped people are provided with accommodation and work, care and 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.