The first known Lord and owner of Château de Candé was Macé de Larçay, in 1313. François Briçonnet, the mayor of Tours and state treasurer, purchased the fief in 1499 and built a Renaissance house on the site of the old fortress. He died before the building was finished, and it was completed by his daughter, Jeanne, in 1508.
Several owners succeeded to the estate, but none brought major transformations to the castle. In 1853, Santiago Drake del Castillo, heir of a wealthy plantation owner, acquired the castle. At this time the northern wing was added, in the neo-gothic style; this tripled the living space.
In 1927, Charles Bedaux, a Franco-American industrial millionaire, and his wife Fern, repurchased the castle with Jean Drake del Castillo, the grandson of Santiago. They carried out substantial work to modernise the castle, such as adding a plumbing system, improving the electrical system and installing central heating in all parts of the building, with 60 tons of pipes installed in the walls. The eight bedrooms are each equipped with a bathroom in the art déco style; all have baths equipped with an American system, making it possible to fill and empty a bathtub in less than one minute. Indoor toilets were also added. Bedaux installed a telephone, which at the time was unique in a French residence; it was directly connected to the exchange in Tours, and therefore required an operator to be present in the castle. A golf course with 18 holes, a tennis court, a gymnasium and a solarium were also built at this time.
In 1937, the marriage of the Duke of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIII), and Wallis Warfield Simpson took place here. Cecil Beaton took their wedding photos here as well. On the death of Fern Bedaux in 1972, the castle was bequeathed to the State, which reassigned it to the council of Indre-et-Loire in 1974.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.