Buonconsiglio Castle was originated from a fortified building was erected in the 13th century next to the city's walls. This first building was called Castelvecchio ('Old Castle'), and was the seat of the Bishopric of Trent from the 13th century onwards to the end of the 18th century. The castle is composed of a series of buildings of different eras, enclosed by a circle of walls in a slightly elevated position above the town.
The Castelvecchio is the oldest and most dominant building of the entire housing development. The Magno Palazzo is the 16th expansion in the forms of the Italian Renaissance, wanted by the Prince Bishop and Cardinal Bernardo Clesio (1485-1539), the third part, in the southern end of the complex is the known Eagle tower, which preserves the famous Cycle of the Months, one of the most fascinating pictorial cycles of profane the late Middle Ages.
Bishop George of Liechtenstein was the first to enlarge the castle, in the late 14th century, turning it into a well-styled residence. The Castelvecchio was further modified by Johannes Hinderbach, who had the double loggiato and the Gothic entrance gate built. In the first decades of the 16th century, Bishop Bernardo Clesio had a new residence, called Palazzo Magno ('Grand Palace') built in Renaissance style alongside the old castle. The last great addition was the so-called Giunta Albertiana, from the name of Bishop Francesco Alberti Poja (1686), with which the Castelvecchio and the Palazzo Magno were united.
The castle remained the seat of the Prince-Bishops until 1803. Used by the Austrians as military barracks and, later, as a jail, it decayed. In the 1920s, when Trento was returned to Italy, it became seat of a National Museum and was restored. Since 1992 it is home to the Provincial Gallery of Art.
According to legend, it was connected by a secret tunnel to the city's cathedral, which allowed the prince-bishops to move unseen between them.References:
Spišskà Kapitula, a unique fortified ecclesiastical ensemble, began as a small fortified settlement overlooking Spišské Podhradie in the 12th century. It was the site of the residence of the Provost of the castle, in the no longer extant St Martin"s monastery, and later became a capitulary. This was destroyed in by Tatars in 1241-1243, but the pilgrim"s chapel, in rotunda form and dedicated to the Virgin, survived until the 18th century and the monastery until the 15th century.
The complex of buildings there is based on the Cathedral of St Martin, where building began in 1285 as a three-aisled Romanesque basilica with a chancel at the west end and a double spire. It owes its present form to successive remodellings and additions in the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles.
The Provost's residence was completed in 1281 and further religious buildings were added. Frequent raids by marauding Bulgars and others led to its being fortified in the 14th century. The cathedral was rebuilt in the later 14th century. In 1776 it became the residence of the Bishop and four years later a seminary was established. In 1819 the first teacher training centre in Hungary was founded there.
The Bishop's Palace is largely Baroque, with some excellent interior decorations, like many of the religious buildings in the group. The oval ground plan of the centre of the town is due to its having been fortified in the 14th century. The various religious buildings had defensive functions in this early period. New monastery buildings were erected when the provost"s residence was rebuilt and the whole area fortified. The earlier central fortifications were removed in the 18th century.
Spišské Kapitula is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Levoča, Spiš Castle and the associated cultural monuments.