Located in Baena, the Torreparedones Archaeological Park, also known as Torre de las Vírgenes and Castro el Viejo, is one of the most important archaeological places in the province of Cordoba from an archaeological viewpoint. Since the Modern Age it has been known for the casual appearance of notable remains that reflect the category it once had in antiquity.
It is located in the heart the Cordoba countryside and is part of the municipal districts of Baena and Castro del Río. It also has a visitor reception centre and a large car park.
The site was inhabited from the end of the Neolithic era until the beginning of the 16th century, reaching its maximum splendour in Iberian and Roman times, when it obtained the status of colony or municipal district. The most significant finds date from these times.
The most significant elements which the site provides these days are Roman buildings like the East door with a road in perfect condition, the forum and adjacent buildings, spas and the market, the medieval castle, a 16th century chapel, the necropolis with underground tombs and the Iberian-Roman sanctuary located to the South, outside the walls, where hundreds of votive offerings have been sculpted in stone, and where the faithful deposited their offerings for several centuries dedicated to the god which was worshipped there: Dea Caelestis.
The chance discovery of the so-called “Mausoleum of the Pompeyos”, in 1833, a monumental tomb containing the incinerated remains of 12 people from the same family, with their names etched in stone urns, was a landmark in the history of the site because it drew the attention of numerous national and foreign researchers.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.