The Villa Forni Cerato is a 16th-century villa in Montecchio Precalcino. Its design is attributed to Andrea Palladio and his client is assumed to have been Girolamo Forni, a wealthy wood merchant who supplied building material for a number of the Palladio's projects. The attribution to Palladio is partly on stylistic grounds, although this is a complicated issue - the building departs from the Palladian norms.
The villa was probably built in the 1540s modifying an existing building on the site. The double name Forni-Cerato, which it is always given, dates back to 1610. Both its attribution to Palladio and the assumption that Girolamo Forni had it built remain a matter of speculation. The first reference to the architect being Palladio is in the 18th century. However, modern research agrees almost unanimously with their opinion.
The body of the building has not undergone any significant changes with the exception of the back, which had a serliana, which was replaced by a balcony. The outline of the rear serliana is still visible.
Today, the only authentic sculptural decoration appears to be a mask over the round arch of the entrance serliana which is attributed to Alessandro Vittoria.
In 1996 UNESCO included the building in the World Heritage Site 'City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto'. The villa is in a poor state of conservation.References:
The Château du Haut-Koenigsbourg is situated in a strategic area on a rocky spur overlooking the Upper Rhine Plain, it was used by successive powers from the Middle Ages until the Thirty Years' War when it was abandoned. From 1900 to 1908 it was rebuilt at the behest of the German kaiser Wilhelm II. Today it is a major tourist site, attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year.
The first records of a castle built by the Hohenstaufens date back to 1147. The fortress changed its name to Koenigsburg (royal castle) around 1157. The castle was handed over to the Tiersteins by the Habsburgs following its destruction in 1462. They rebuilt and enlarged it, installing a defensive system designed to withstand artillery fire.
The fortification work accomplished over the 15th century did not suffice to keep the Swedish artillery at bay during the Thirty Years War, and the defences were overrun.