There has been a castle or stronghold in Johannesberg since the 11th century. The hill surrounded by water has been easy to defend. During the 12th century a chief named Gutti lived here and the whole area became Gutti´s area, later on Gottröra, which is the name of the place today. Gutti divided the area into two parts, the south and the north. The south part – presently Johannesberg – was called Djursby.
The owner of Djursby during the later part of the 17th century was Johan Leijonhufvud. He gave the estate to a close relative, Adam Lewenhaupt, who named it Johannesberg after Johan Leijonhufvud. Lewenhaupt died in Russian captivity and was never to see Johannesberg again. After Lewenhaupt the estate was owned by different nobility families – Banér, Gyllenstierna, Horn af Åminne and Lagergren. At the end of the 19th century Johannesberg was taken over by a Mr Grönwall, a wholesale dealer. During his time the main building unfortunately burnt down. The next owner, Mr Conti, built the present mail building around the turn of the century.
The estate was bought in 1930’s by Bergengren, who at the end of the decade owned many estates in Sweden, England and France. Bergengren is still the owner of the agricultural part of Johannesberg.
During World War II Bergengren rented out the main building and several crofters cottages to the Swedish government and under the management of the manager for the Criminal Technical Institution, Harry Söderman, Norwegian refugees were here officially beeing educated to police men. In fact they were educated to join the resistance movement. At the maximum there were about 1500 Norwegians here for education. Many of them have through comrade clubs kept in touch with each other after their return to Norway. They have collected money and this resulted in a monument beeing raised in the castle park at Johannesberg in June 1990.
In 1987 Johannesberg was bought by a private company. It was restored, the two wings were built ant the estate was ready to take into use in the springtime 1989. The golf course with 27 holes was set up and opened in 1991. A club house with swimming pool was ready at the same time. The castle is owned and operated since 1995 by the family Manfred and Mariette Kuhl.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.