Around 1540, James Stewart of Doune was made Commendator of Inchcolm Abbey, which is located on an island in the Firth of Forth. Donibristle was then a property of the abbey, and James used it as a residence. In 1580, his son James was raised to the peerage as Lord Doune. Lord Doune's son James Stewart married, in 1581, Elizabeth Stuart, 2nd Countess of Moray, and assumed, jure uxoris (in right of his wife), the title of the Earl of Moray. Moray quarrelled with George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly, and on 7 February 1592 Huntly attacked and burned Donibristle. Moray attempted to flee but was caught and killed.
The old house was refurbished by James Stuart, 4th Earl of Moray between 1632 and 1653. His wife, Margaret Home, had a cabinet room which held a variety of treasures and curiosities, including a miniature bowling game with ivory pins, a painting of a parrot, a loadstone, and telescope bought in London in 1634. Many of the furnishing were bought by her mother Mary, Countess of Home. An inventory of their library includes the L'Astrée and a book by the calligrapher Esther Inglis. One of sons of the Countess of Moray stole a gold piece from the cabinet. Near the house there was a fountain with a bronze figure of winged Mercury posed on a turtle, possibly the work of Hubert Le Sueur. The water jet issued from the mouth of the turtle, as Thomas Kirk described in 1677.
A new house was constructed around 1700, and around 1720 L-plan wings of three storeys were added, to the designs of Alexander McGill. McGill also designed the mortuary chapel of the Earls of Moray on the estate, which is dated 1731 and is also category A listed. In the late 18th century landscape gardener Thomas White laid out the parkland. James Gillespie Graham prepared plans for Jacobean-style remodelling in the earlier 19th century. The main block of the house burned down in 1858. The surviving wings are linked by a subterranean passage and a decorative wrought-iron screen, said to be the finest early 18th century wrought-iron screen still in existence in Scotland.
During World War I the estate was used by the Royal Naval Air Service as an airfield, which was expanded during World War II as RNAS Donibristle (HMS Merlin). From 1962 the airfield and the rest of the estate was developed as Dalgety Bay, a privately funded new town. Begun by Copthall Holdings, the site was taken over by the Scottish Homes Investment Company and construction continued into the 1970s. In the late 20th century the wings of Donibristle House and the nearby stable block were restored as housing, and a new apartment building was erected in place of the main block of the house.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.