The Colonne di San Lorenzo or Columns of San Lorenzo is a group of ancient Roman ruins, located in front of the Basilica of San Lorenzo in central Milan.
The colonnade, consisting mainly of 16 tall Corinthian columns in a row, now fronts an open square. In the 4th century, the columns were moved here, after removal from a likely 2nd century pagan temple or public bath house structure. South of the columns, one of the medieval gates still has some Roman marble decoration in place. In the 16th century, in preparations for a celebratory entrance into Milan of the monarch King Phillip II of Spain, it was proposed to raze the colonnade to widen the route; Ferrante Gonzaga declined the suggestion.
Up until 1935, the space between the church and columns was entirely occupied by old houses abutting onto the façade of the church itself. Indeed, the church complex was fully surrounded by old houses. Despite the plans to conserve this ancient urban fabric, the renovations led to the demolition of the old houses and the isolation of the monument on the front side. Following bombing during World War II, the church complex became isolated also on the rear side, where the fenced Basilicas Park now stands, allowing popular views of the Basilica.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.