Salsta Castle is one of the finest Baroque palaces in Uppland. The earliest known settlement in Salsta was a fortified farm from the early Middle Ages and the first known owner was Magnus Greg Ersson in the 1300s. The family of Bielke became the owner of Salsta in the 1500s and they erected a three-storey Renaissance castle. The present castle with park was built in 1672-78 by Nils Bielke and the building master was Mathias Spihler. The castle was strongly inspired of French Baroque style. The model of Salsta, as well as many palaces, was taken from Vaux-le-Vicomte, a chateau near Paris.
Also the garden was a French-inspired. Nils Bielke had visited in the Versailles park, knowing that a baroque garden should be symmetric and strictly. There are today only some remains of the original Baroque park, but you can sense the romantic park with winding paths and pedestrian bridges that were built in the 1800s.
An extensive renovation was made at the end of the 1700s. Main floor was reconstructed with new furnishings and modern stoves. The owner of Salsta was then Fredrik Magnus Brahe, who also owned Rydboholm and Skokloster castles. Until 1976 Salsta was a residence of the family von Essen. Since 1996, Salsta is managed by the National Property Board.
Salsta castle became a national monument in 1993 due the well-preserved appearance and the site's long history.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.