Jánský vrch castle stands on a hill above the town of Javorník in the north-western edge of Czech Silesia, in area what was a part of the Duchy of Nysa. For most of its history the castle belonged to the Prince-bishops of Breslau (Wrocław) in Silesia.
The castle is first mentioned in written sources in 1307, when it was still the property of the Princes of Svidník. In the 1348, they sold the castle to the Prince-bishop Preczlaus of Pogarell (1341–1376), and since that time, the castle belonged to Breslau bishops.
During the 15th century, the castle was considerably damaged by the Hussites and therefore large-scale repairs were needed. The rebuilding of the castle took place under the rule of Bishop Jan IV Roth, at the end of the 15th century, and it was completed in 1509 by his successor – Prince-bishop John V Thurzó (1506–1520). At that time, the castle was also renamed as Johannesberg, to honor the patron of the Bishops of Breslau, John the Baptist.
The original fortified castle was later rebuilt in the Baroque style under the rule of Philipp Gotthard von Schaffgotsch (1716–1795), who made it his primary residence. During this time, Johannesberg castle and the town Javorník also became the cultural center of Upper Silesia. Among the most famous personalities living there, was August Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, renowned Viennese composer and violinist.
Following the death of Prince-Bishop Philipp Gotthard von Schaffgotsch, the castle was once again rebuilt as a summer residence by Bishop Joseph Christian Reichsfürst von Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Bartenstein. It remained an important centre of cultural life in the region until the beginning of the 20th century.
In 1959, the castle Jánský Vrch was loaned to the State and recovered by the Czechoslovak government in 1984, following a property agreement between the Polish and Czechoslovak Catholic archdioceses. It is now under the administration of the National Monument Institute in Olomouc and since 1 January 2002, it is on the list of Czech national cultural monuments.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.