Snežnik Castle construction time is unclear; its existence is first implied in 1269, by way of mention of its owner Meinhard von Schneberg. The castle itself was first mentioned in 1461, at the time it was a possession of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, with the Schnebergs as their ministeriales. In 1393, a quarter-share of it and several neighboring farms was purchased by William II von Lamberg, a relative of the Schnebergs; his descendants increased their share through the 15th century until they owned the entire estate, giving the castle its more-or-less current renaissance appearance as well.
By marriages, the castle passed to the Scheyer family, followed by the Prancks and, in the first third of the 17th century, the barons Rambschissl, who sold it to the Imperial governor of Carniola, prince Eggenberg. Along with Snežnik, the prince bought the lordship of Lož, moving its administrative center from the uncomfortable, hilltop Lož Castle to the more amiable and better-accessible manor at Snežnik. In 1669, Janez Žiga Eggenberg sold the Loš-Snežnik lordship to prince Janez Vajkard Auersperg, the count of Gottschee (Kočevje).
in 1707 the estate was taken over by count Jurij Gotfrid Lichtenberg, who in 1718 permanently joined the Lož and Snežnik lordships. The house of Lichtenberg held the estate for 140 years, a period marked by the centralist policies of the Habsburg monarchy, in particular the constant diminution of the rights of the nobility. By the early 19th century, the Lichtenberg had been forced deep into hock; a court-ordered appraial occurred in 1816. In 1832 the family was forced to accept a lottery loan; the main prize was the entire Snežnik estate, or 250,000 florins. The lucky winner, a Hungarian blacksmith, took the cash, while the Lichtenbergs went on to sell the estate in 1847 to a Viennese couple named Karis, who went bankrupt shortly thereafter. The estate was purchased at auction in 1853 for 800,000 florins by the German prince Oton Viktor Schoenburg-Waldenburg.
Prince Jurij, the third son of Oton Viktor, inherited the castle in 1859 and heavily remodeled it for use as a summer home and hunting lodge. In addition to adding a story, two turrets, a terrace, and elevating the defensive walls, he also richly furnished the interior and established a surrounding English-style park.
Wishing to preserve the estate for his heirs, the prince established a fideicommiss about the property. Stocking the woods with deer and the ponds with trout, he ordered several paths built through the forest, he also hired experts to maintain the surrounding wilderness, and was the patron of the first Slovene forestry school, opened in the castle in 1869 but closed in 1875 due to germanophone political pressure. The princes' construction of a steam sawmill began the industrial development of the Lož Valley.
In 1902 prince Jurij was succeeded by his firstborn, Herman, a diplomat. After World War I the estate was divided between Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes by the Treaty of Rapallo. Prince Herman died in 1943 at the family castle of Hermsdorf by Dresden. During WWII the castle caretaker faithfully guarded the estate, repelling looters; as a consequence, the interior furnishing of the Schoenburgs survive intact. In 1945, the castle and estate were nationalized, and became a hunting lodge reserved for important state functionaries. In 1983, the castle was opened to the public as a museum.
Grave markers looted from the ruins of an ancient Roman outpost in Šmarata were incorporated into the castle's facade. The four-story building is surrounded by a renaissance-era wall. The castle was heavily remodeled in the second half of the 19th century; the majority of the interior furnishings date from this period, as do the castle parkgrounds, which are characterized by numerous meadows connected by riding and walking paths, bordered with numerous chestnut and linden tree rows, and which contain two small artificial lakes filled by Obrh and Brezno creeks.
An engraving in Valvasor's 1689 The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola depicts Snežnik; while of generally similar appearance and layout as today, the twin round and diagonally square corner turrets guarding the main gate were then smaller, square wooden watchtowers. The engraving also shows the castle's defensive ditch had not yet been flooded and was traversed by a simple wooden bridge had instead of a multi-arched stone one.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.