Bogenšperk Castle is a 16th-century castle. It is best known for its association with the 17th-century historian Johann Weikhard von Valvasor. Standing on a low hill, the Renaissance castle is fully restored, and is listed as an important cultural monument of Slovenia. The three-story building consists of four tracts from several time periods, connecting four towers and surrounding an arcaded inner courtyard. The oldest part of the castle is the north tower, which originally stood as a standalone fortification. A wooden bridge was later added, linking it to the south-east tower, which originally served a defensive purpose and was once much higher than the rest of the building; however, since a 1759 fire caused by a lightning-strike heavily damaged the castle, the tower was never rebuilt to its original level. The castle stands on bedrock; one of its attractions is a deep well carved directly into the rock.
In its current form, the castle was likely begun by the noble house of Wagen as a replacement for Boltežar Wagen's nearby Castle Lihtenberk, already in disrepair and severely damaged by a major earthquake in 1511. After the 1630 death of Jurij Wagen, the last member of the family, the castle changed several owners until it was in 1672 finally bought by Johann Weikhard von Valvasor after his return from abroad. Thoroughly renovated, it was furnished with a graphic studio, a library, printing press and collection of curiosities. Due to the enormous cost of issuing Valvasor's book, The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola, Valvasor became heavily indebted, and was forced to sell first his valuable library and, in 1692, his estates. His family moved to Krško, while the castle again changed several owners, the last being the noble family Windischgrätz, who abandoned the castle in 1943. While its interior furnishings were destroyed or looted, the castle itself survived the war intact and was in its immediate aftermath turned into a military hospital. From 1957 it was occupied by Jesuits, who carried out some preventive maintenance on the structure; in 1972, a systematic reconstruction effort began, at first led by the art historian Milan Železnik.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.