The imposing reddish schist walls of Château de Trécesson are reflected in the waters of the lake which surrounds it. The front gate is reached by a bridge which spans the moat. The entry is guarded by an imposing gatehouse flanked by two narrow towers on corbelling, joined together by an old gallery with machicolations. On the right, a long almost windowless frontage, covered with a steep slate roof, ends in a hexagonal corner tower. Around the trapezoidal inner courtyard, to the right is a corps de logis of more recent vintage, undoubtedly 18th century; and on the left stand the domestic buildings, protected by a watchtower on the exterior facade, and a small 15th century seigneurial chapel.
The origin of Trécesson castle is lost in the mists of time. It was mentioned as the seat of the lords of Ploërmel and Campénéac from the 8th century. The Trécesson family is documented since the 13th century and its first known representative was the knight Jean de Trécesson, whose grandson was Constable of Brittany in the 14th century. Tradition places the construction of the site at the end of the 14th century, but it is more probable that the castle, in its present position, dates from the 15th century. At that time, around 1440, the last Trécesson heiress married Éon de Carné. He and his son François added the name of Trécesson to their own and undertook the transformation and rebuilding of the château.
The residence remained the property of the Carné-Trécesson family until 1773, when the last of that line, Agathe de Trécesson, married Rene-Joseph Le Preste de Châteaugiron. The château passed in 1793 to Nicolas Bourelle de Sivry, and subsequently to the Perrien, Montesquieu and the Prunelé families. The countess de Prunelé lives in the château today.
In June 1793, during the Reign of Terror following the French Revolution, the Girondist deputy Jacques Defermon (known as Defermon des Chapelières), having signed a protest against the exclusion of the Gironde faction, was obliged to flee and took refuge in the château, where he remained hidden for over a year.
Today Château de Trécesson is in private use.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.