The church and monastery of San Vittore al Corpo was built by the Olivetan order in the early 16th century. The site once had a 4th-century basilica and mausoleum that once held the burials of the emperors Gratian and Valentinian III. The basilica was enlarged in the 8th century to house the relics of the saints Vittore and Satiro. A Benedictine monastery soon was attached to the church. In 1507, the monastery was transferred to the Olivetans, who began a major reconstruction.
During the Napoleonic wars, the site became a military hospital, and afterwards became barracks. It suffered damage during the bombardments of 1943. The monastery now houses a museum of science. Reconstruction of the church was begun in 1533 by Vincenzo Seregni, and completed in 1568 by Pellegrino Tibaldi. La façade remains incomplete. The dome was frescoed in 1617 by Guglielmo Caccia. In the chapel of St Anthony is a 1619 canvas by Daniele Crespi (Death of St Paul the hermit). In the transept on the left, is an early 17th-century cycle of canvases of the Stories of San Benedetto, by Ambrogio Figino while the right transept has an altarpiece by Camillo Procaccini. Other chapels have paintings by Pompeo Batoni and Giovanni Battista Discepoli.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.