The Doppelkirche Schwarzrheindorf was once part of a Benedictine nunnery located at Schwarzrheindorf, now part of Bonn. The 'double church' has an upper church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and a lower church dedicated to Pope Clement I.
The church was probably built as a private chapel for Arnold of Wied, provost of Limburg Cathedral, Cologne Cathedral and the Basilica of Saint Servatius in Maastricht. Adjacent to the church, archaeological finds indicate that the chapel was once part of a castle belonging to the Wied family. In 1151 the Doppelkirche in Schwarzrheindorf was dedicated in the presence of King Conrad III of Germany. In the same year Arnold became archbishop of Cologne, a powerful position in that time.
After Arnold's death in 1156 his sister Hadwig of Wied turned the buildings into a monastery for Benedictine nuns. Hadwig was already abbess of Gerresheim and Essen Abbey and she now also became head of the Schwarzrheindorf congregation. Two of her sisters joined as well. Later, the monastery became a stift, a collegial body for female canons of noble origin. The upper gallery of the Doppelkirche was accessible only to the noble members of the religious community, where they were able to attend Holy Mass, separated from the commoners in the church below. In 1803 the stift was dissolved and the church was used for secular purposes until in 1868 it became a parish church.
The Doppelkirche Schwarzrheindorf is a well-preserved example of a double church from the High Middle Ages. The church has recently been plastered white but it is believed that this is what it looked like in the 12th century. It was originally conceived as a Zentralbau (central structure without a nave), following the example of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen. The church has a tall crossing tower and a dwarf gallery that not only encircles the entire apse but also both transepts. The dwarf gallery is accessible via an external staircase. The Romanesque capitals of the gallery are closely related to the carved capitals seen at the Basilica of Saint Servatius in Maastricht, where Arnold of Wied had initiated an extensive building campaign during his provostship.
The 12th-century frescos are largely original. In 1863 they were rediscovered underneath a layer of white plaster that had covered them for several decades. Both the painted upper chapel and the lower chapel are of great art historical significance. The subject matter for the frescos was derived from the teachings of contemporary theologians like Rupert of Deutz and Otto of Freising. In the upper chapel Arnold and Hadwig of Wied are painted below a Majestas Domini, stretching out on the floor as a token of humility.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.