An early medieval castle in Malpaga had been in ruins after a raid in the 1440s. In 1456, the condottiero and nobleman Bartolomeo Colleoni acquired the ruined castle from the commune of Bergamo. He enlarged and enriched it not only as a military base for his troops, but also as a seigneurial residence, in the typical Italian Renaissance fashion.
The castle layout is square, surrounded by two lines of walls and a ditch. The first line, now disappeared, included the stables and the barracks. The walls are characterized by merlons. The castle's internal walls are almost entirely frescoed, although some of them have deteriorated or been vandalized. Some frescoes celebrate the 1474 visit of King Christian I of Denmark and the sumptuous hospitality given him by Bartolomeo Colleoni, including banquets, hunting expeditions and tournaments. They were commissioned by Bartolomeo's heirs around 1520-1530 to celebrate the family's most famous member, and are attributed to Il Romanino. On the first floor are 17th-century frescoes of lesser quality.
Aside from Christian I's visit, the frescoes also depict allegories, such as that of Silence (an allusion to the secrets which should be kept by the castle's personnel), and the idealized portraits of Colleoni and the king. In the courtyard, also attributed to Romanino, is the depiction of the Battle of Molinella (or Riccardina), fought by Colleoni in 1467 near Bologna. Another 15th-century fresco of the Madonna with Child, by an unknown artist, is found in Colleoni's private studio.References:
The Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite was one of the seats of the Court of the Kingdom of Navarre, since the reign of Charles III 'the Noble' until its conquest by Castile (1512). The fortification is both castle and palace, although it was built more like a courtier building to fulfill a military function.
On an ancient Roman fortification was built during the reign of Sancho VII of Navarre (13th century) and extended by his successors Theobald I and Theobald II, which the latter was is installed in the palace in 1269 and there he signed the consent letter for the wedding of Blanche of Artois with his brother Henry I of Navarre, who in turn, Henry I since 1271 used the palace as a temporary residence. This ancient area is known as the Old Palace.
Then the palace was housing the Navarrese court from the 14th until 16th centuries, Since the annexation (integration) of the kingdom of Navarre for the Crown of Castile in 1512 began the decline of the castle and therefore its practically neglect and deterioration. At that time it was an official residence for the Viceroys of Navarre.
In 1813 Navarrese guerrilla fighter Espoz y Mina during the Napoleonic French Invasion burned the palace with the aim to French could not make forts in it, which almost brought in ruin. It is since 1937 when architects José and Javier Yarnoz Larrosa began the rehabilitation (except the non-damaged church) for the castle palace, giving it back its original appearance and see today. The restoration work was completed in 1967 and was paid by the Foral Government of Navarre.