Khornabuji is an ancient castle in the eastern part of Georgia. It was probably constructed, originally, at the end of the 1st millennium BC, at which time it was the only fortification controlling the valleys of the Iori and Alazani rivers.
Archeology conducted during the 1970s in the area uncovered extensive evidence of the settlement that flourished in the flat land beneath the castle during and before the medieval period. The first surviving written records of it date back to the reign of Vakhtang the Wolf Head during the fifth century. At that time Khornabuji was one of the largest settlements in the Kakheti region. According to the chronicle it was one of several places to which Vakhtang appointed a bishop after he had built the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral at Mtskheta.
Late in the fifth or early during the sixth century Khornabuji was conquered by the Sasanians. It appears the surrounding town was destroyed, though something of the castle survived and over the following centuries the town again appeared on the area of flat ground to the south of the castle rock. During the thirteenth century, according to some sources, the castle was rebuilt on the instructions of Queen Tamara, although others suggest that references to Queen Tamara building a castle may have referred to a castle built at another site. According to one interpretation of the sources the Khornabuji township was destroyed by Mongul invadersunder Berke Khan around 1264, and survivors relocated to Sighnaghi, after which there was no further significant settlement outside the castle walls. An alternative view is that it was during the seventeenth century the settlement fell into ruin following the invasion undertaken from Iran by Shāh Abbās. The castle was later rebuilt under Heraclius II of Kartli-Kakheti, but the surrounding township was not rebuilt.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.