The Walls of Ston are a series of defensive stone walls, originally more than 7 kilometres long, that surrounded and protected the city of Ston. Their construction was begun in 1358. Today, it is one of the longest preserved fotification systems in the world.
Despite being well protected by massive city walls, the Republic of Ragusa used Pelješac to build another line of defence. At its narrowest point, just before it joins the mainland, a wall was built from Ston to Mali Ston. Throughout the era of the Republic, the walls were maintained and renovated once they meant to protect the precious salt pans that contributed to Dubrovnik's wealth, which are still being worked today.
Demolition work began on the walls following the fall of the Republic. Later the Austrian authorities took materials away from the wall to build schools and community buildings, and also for a triumphal arch on the occasion of the visit by the Austrian Emperor in 1884. The wall around Mali Ston was demolished with the excuse that it was damaging the health of the people. The demolition was halted after World War II.
The wall, today 5.5 kilometres long, links Ston to Mali Ston, and is in the shape of an irregular pentangle. It was completed in the 15th century, along with its 40 towers (20 of which have survived) and 5 fortresses. Within, three streets were laid from north to south and three others from east to west. Thus, fifteen equal blocks were formed with 10 houses in each. Residential buildings around the edges. The Gothic Republic Chancellery and the Bishop's Palace are outstanding among the public buildings.
The main streets are 6 m wide (except the southern street which is 8 m wide) and the side streets are two m wide. The town was entered by two city gates: the Field Gate (Poljska vrata) has a Latin inscription and dates from 1506. The centres of the system are the fortress Veliki kaštio in Ston, Koruna in Mali Ston and the fortress on Podzvizd hill. Noted artist who work on the walls project are Michelozzo, Bernardino Gatti of Parma and Giorgio da Sebenico (Juraj Dalmatinac).
The city plan of Dubrovnik was used as a model for Ston, but since Ston was built on prepared terrain, that model was more closely followed than Dubrovnik itself.References:
The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba and the Mezquita is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture.
According to a traditional account, a small Visigoth church, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins, originally stood on the site. In 784 Abd al-Rahman I ordered construction of the Great Mosque, which was considerably expanded by later Muslim rulers. The mosque underwent numerous subsequent changes: Abd al-Rahman II ordered a new minaret, while in 961 Al-Hakam II enlarged the building and enriched the Mihrab. The last of such reforms was carried out by Almanzor in 987. It was connected to the Caliph"s palace by a raised walkway, mosques within the palaces being the tradition for previous Islamic rulers – as well as Christian Kings who built their palaces adjacent to churches. The Mezquita reached its current dimensions in 987 with the completion of the outer naves and courtyard.
In 1236, Córdoba was conquered by King Ferdinand III of Castile, and the centre of the mosque was converted into a Catholic cathedral. Alfonso X oversaw the construction of the Villaviciosa Chapel and the Royal Chapel within the mosque. The kings who followed added further Christian features, such as King Henry II rebuilding the chapel in the 14th century. The minaret of the mosque was also converted to the bell tower of the cathedral. It was adorned with Santiago de Compostela"s captured cathedral bells. Following a windstorm in 1589, the former minaret was further reinforced by encasing it within a new structure.
The most significant alteration was the building of a Renaissance cathedral nave in the middle of the expansive structure. The insertion was constructed by permission of Charles V, king of Castile and Aragon. Artisans and architects continued to add to the existing structure until the late 18th century.
The building"s floor plan is seen to be parallel to some of the earliest mosques built from the very beginning of Islam. It had a rectangular prayer hall with aisles arranged perpendicular to the qibla, the direction towards which Muslims pray. The prayer hall was large and flat, with timber ceilings held up by arches of horseshoe-like appearance.
In planning the mosque, the architects incorporated a number of Roman columns with choice capitals. Some of the columns were already in the Gothic structure; others were sent from various regions of Iberia as presents from the governors of provinces. Ivory, jasper, porphyry, gold, silver, copper, and brass were used in the decorations. Marvellous mosaics and azulejos were designed. Later, the immense temple embodied all the styles of Morisco architecture into one composition.
The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble, granite and porphyry. These were made from pieces of the Roman temple that had occupied the site previously, as well as other Roman buildings, such as the Mérida amphitheatre. The double arches were an innovation, permitting higher ceilings than would otherwise be possible with relatively low columns. The double arches consist of a lower horseshoe arch and an upper semi-circular arch.