Amsoldingen Castle and the neighboring was built in the 10th century. The castle was built as the residence of the wealthy provost of the collegiate church of Amsoldingen. However, the provost and church gradually became impoverished and in 1484 ownership of the castle was given to St. Vincent's cathedral in Bern. The college of canons in Bern sold the castle and surrounding lands in 1496 to the wealthy merchant Barthlome May. In 1536, Barthlome's grandson, Sulpitius May, sold the castle, after which it passed through a number of owners.
By the end of the 17th century it was owned by the engineer and surveyor Samuel Bodmer. Between 1711 and 1724, Bodmer lived in the castle as he designed the flood control system around Thun Lake and the Aare River to protect the villages and farm land from floods. During the 18th and early 19th century the castle was owned by the Luternau family who built the parks around the castle. It was sold in 1815 to Ludwig Zeerleder, who then sold it to Alfred de Rougemont von Bonstetten, who later sold it to Beat Ludwig Tscharner von Erlach. Under von Erlach the castle was rebuilt in a neo-Gothic style in 1846.
The first church on the site was built in the early Romanesque style in the 6th century. Like the castle, the former collegiate church of St. Mauritius was built in the 10th century. The Ottonian three-aisle church was built from stone scavenged from the ruins of Aventicum on the foundations of the earlier church. According to tradition, the stift or donation that supported the church was made in the 10th century by the King of Burgundy Rudolph II. It was one of the twelve churches that he founded around Lake Thun. Around 1210, the 10th century church was modified with the construction of the crypt and renovation of the south aisle. The church is first mentioned in a record in 1228. Around 1300, the interior of the church was covered with murals including the still visible painting of Saint Christopher on the north wall. The southern side apse was demolished and a Romanesque bell tower was added between 1345 and 1486.
Over the following centuries, the stift gradually became impoverished and in 1484 the Pope approved the dissolution of the Stift and its incorporation into the newly created stift of St. Vincent's cathedral in Bern. The church became the parish church of Amsoldingen. In 1528 the Protestant Reformation spread through the region and the church became a Protestant church. In 1576 a fire damaged the church, forcing a major renovation. A new roof was built and the main apse was raised in 1576. The following year a new pulpit was built. The oldest of the four bells was hung in the bell tower in 1579. The wooden ceiling was added in 1661 or 1666 and a mural of the Last Supper was painted in 1668.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.