The medieval castle of Carcabuey was the object of incursions by Ibn Hafsun at the end of the Emirate, being dominated and demolished by the emir Add-Allah in 892. Conquered by Fernando III, it was rebuilt according to the design of other fortifications, such as those in Fuengirola or Iznájar.
From the mid-13th century, it belonged to the Order of Calatrava, until, in 1333, it was conquered by Muhammad IV of Granada and reconquered and modified shortly after by Alfonso XI. It was integrated into the Señorío de Aguilar after numerous donations.
The fortress has five towers distributed along the wall, of which two are square and three circular. Inside the walled enclosure, the keep remains well-preserved. In the upper part of the courtyard sits the eighteenth-century chapel, Ermita de Nuestra Señora del Castillo.
The castle itself has gone down in history for the battle between King Alfonso X and his rival, Sancho. According to legend, the King had ordered everyone not to leave the castle under any circumstances. His rival knew that, in order to emerge victorious over the local population, he needed to flush the army out onto open ground. He learned that the Governor's daughter had a 'secret' lover and therefore devised a plan to lure her away from the castle to meet her true love and escape together. He was sure that the Governor would call out the troops to go after the girl and return her. The Governor, Pero Nuño Tello, was committed to total loyalty to his King and refused to send out the troops, thus losing his daughter forever as she fled with her lover. Interestingly, when Sancho later became King, he was sorry for the injury he had caused to the Governor and called Pero to his court to make amends. However, he was only able to meet with Pero's dead body as the Governor committed suicide, feeling that his dead body was the only loyal part of himself that he could present to the new king. His spirit, as the legend goes, would never bow to Sancho.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.