Wiurila manor was first mentioned in history books in the 15th century. At that time, it was owned by Magnus Johansson till Wiorela. His daughter Elseby married Henrik Flemming and inherited Wiurila. For 300 years from that day on, the manor of Wiurila was inherited from mother to daughter.
In 1787, baron and major general Magnus Wilhelm Armfelt bought Wiurila. His son Gustaf Mauritz inherited the manor of Joensuu, and his second son August Philip inherited the manors of Wiurila and Vuorentaka.
August Philip ordered the first national architect of Finland, an Italian called Carlos Bassi, to design a new main building for Wiurila. Building work on the neoclassical mansion was completed in 1811. Magnus Reinhold, son of August Philip, had the agricultural and domestic wing built during the years 1835 to 1845. The facade was created by another national architect, C. L. Engel.
August Armfelt, son of Count Magnus Reinhold, was a very influential man and an enthusiastic farmer. In his time, Wiurila had a brick factory, sawmill, windmills, a dairy, distillery and the oldest known Finnish brewery. A variety of craftsmen worked on the self-sufficient Wiurila estate, and its own ships carried exports abroad - spirits, butter, wheat, lumber and other products. Wiurila consisted of 48,000 hectares, of which approximately half was in Hiitola, Karelia. The last Count, Carl August Armfelt (died 1942), provided Wiurila with electricity and running water.
The manor became smaller during land handovers and the sharing of inheritances. As a result, just 30 hectares of farmland and a similar amount of forest was left when Anna Louise Standertskjöld-Brüninghaus, the granddaughter of Carl August, took possession of the estate in 1951. The manor of Wiurila has bloomed to its present prosperity due to her and her husband Günter Brüninghaus.
The current surface area of Wiurila is approximately 150 hectares. One of its specialities has been the farming of sweetcorn. The estate is now managed by the Brüninghauses' daughter, Anne Marie Aminoff. Today it is open to the public in summer season.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.