The Lords of Jegistorf were first mentioned in the 12th century, in the service of the Dukes of Zähringen. They built the large square castle tower around that time. The original castle was probably surrounded by wooden walls. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the wooden walls were replaced with stone. In 1300, shortly before the Lords of Jegenstorf died out, the Erlach family acquired the herrschaft of Jegenstorf. However, the Jegistorf holdings had already been divided and the castle remained out of Erlach hands until the 14th or 15th century. Through a combination of political marriages and purchases, in 1519, Johann von Erlach (1474-1539) became the ruler of the castle, the village, the herrschaft and the Jegenstorf court. During the same year he also became the Schultheiss of Bern. It remained in Erlach hands until 1584.
In 1584 it passed to the von Bonstetten family, who held it until 1675. It then went to the von Wattenwyl family who held it until 1720. In 1720 Albrecht Friedrich von Erlach bought the castle back. Under Albrecht Friedrich, the castle was expanded and renovated. The old tower was rebuilt as a baroque tower house and the castle converted into a country manor house.
In the 18th century the castle passed to the Stürler family. In 1765 Anton Ludwig Stürler sold the castle to his brother Johann Rudolf Stürler, who passed it on to his son Johann Rudolf in 1789. The castle was spared any damage during the 1798 French invasion. By 1812, however, Johann Rudolf was in financial difficulties and sold the castle to his cousin Rudolf Gabriel Stürler of Serraux. In 1913-1915 the house was renovated and modernized under Arthur Albert Vinzenz von Stürler. After the death of Arthur Albert Vinzenz in 1934, the castle was purchased by a preservation association.
On 9 October 1944 General Henri Guisan, the supreme commander of the Swiss Army, moved his command post from Interlaken to Jegenstorf. At the same time, much of the army's General Staff moved to Burgdorf. Guisan set up his command post in Jegenstorf castle. He was given two rooms in the castle in the south-west wing for his personal use.
In 1954, a foundation was created to preserve and operate the castle and create a museum. Since 1955, the village museum of Jegenstorf has been open in the castle.
Originally the castle consisted of a square tower. During the High Middle Ages it expanded to a castle with a keep, a corner tower, a housing wing and a central courtyard. The castle was surrounded by a double, water filled moat. In 1720 it was converted into a baroque manor house. Three more corner towers were added to join the original south-eastern corner tower and a hallway was added to join the towers together. The four towers formed a symmetrical box around the original keep. The main northern entrance into the keep was updated with a grand staircase, a balcony and decorative carvings. The south and eastern facades each received a triangular pediment.
The interior was redecorated in 1913–15. The dining room was decorated with a series of allegorical paintings of the affairs of Katharina Perregaux-von Wattenwyl, which were painted in 1690 by Joseph Werner for Reichenbach Castle. Several masonry heaters from the 18th century were moved into the castle during this renovation. Two of the most interesting are covered in blue glazed tiles and are signed and dated by Urs Johann Wiswalt in 1723. In the first upper story, the so-called Herkulessaal (Hercules hall) is decorated with a statue of Hercules battling the Hydra from the 17th century. The castle is surrounded by a large park with an 18th-century Orangery and a neo-Gothic pavilion which was built in 1890. The pavilion is decorated with a statue of Minerva which was carved by Johann Friedrich I Funk in 1773.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.