Eremo di San Colombano monastery is notable for its location in the side of a mountain. Some natural caves, halfway up the rock wall of the gorge formed by the stream of Leno Vallarsa were certainly used from 753 AD (the date inscribed on the rock) from a Monaco hermit.
According to legend, the hermit San Colombano first arrived there and killed the dragon that caused the death of children baptised in the waters of the river below Leno. More likely, the legend was born as a place from the first hermit monks from the nearby monastery of Bobbio, or the Priory of St. Columban Bardolino. Visitation to the site was prescribed during Lent.
Between the late tenth and early 11th century, records indicate the first construction of a small church dedicated to the saint at the opening of the cave, under a roof of natural rock. The first documentary evidence of the presence of the Hermitage and the church are one of 1319, relating to a bequest made to the Church of St. Columba on the part of Count William of Castelbarco of the House of Lords of Lizzana and Rovereto, and the other, 1470, is still preserved in Lizzana, attesting to the faith of the inhabitants of the place with celebrations and processions to the Irish saint to avert the long drought.
The hermitage of the hermit's cave was used by monks, hermits, who were its guardians, until 1782 when the practice of the hermitage was abolished. Since then the place of worship was later cared for by the inhabitants of the valley.
The province of Trent in 1996 restored the church, and the opening to the public is maintained by a group of volunteers gathered in the Committee Friends of St. Columban.
The hermitage is accessed by a staircase of 102 steps carved into rock. Frescoes depict the fight between St. Columba and a dragon (an allegory of the struggle between good and evil), as well as the representation of Paradise, located in the cave. Another fresco with 'Madonna and Saints' is the fifteenth-century altar of the church and keeps recordings with prayers and candles dated between 1505 and 1782, witnessed the pilgrimage to the shrine.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.