Nearly 200 m above the Mosel river next to Pommern and Karden lays the high plateau of the Martberg. Its name still reminds you of the celtic-roman god Lenus-Mars who has been worshipped here in ancient times.
In the celtic period, around 100 BC, the Martberg was a central town an oppidum of the local celtic tribe called Treveri. According to current research the plateau of 45 ha was densly settled with small houses made of wood and clay. The settlement was surrounded by a wall constructed out of timber and stones. The evidence of coinage, handicraft and many imported goods emphasize the importance of the settlement in these times.
In the central area of the mountain archaeologists found a sanctuary of several celtic-roman temples which date from the 1st century BC to the 4th century AD. The sanctuary was surrounded by a large rectangular collonade which has been 60 to 70 m. In the center stood the main temple built in the typical celtic-roman style. It had a central square building called cella and a surrounding roofed verandah with stone pillars. The cella was the most important part of the temple because there was the god’s statue placed. Next to the central temple four smaller temples were discovered built in the same way as the main temple. In the sanctuary archaeologists found large quantities of offerings. The believers offered more than 10.000 coins, hundreds of fibulas, weapons as well as thousands of miniature ceramic vessels to their gods. In the course of the christianisation the sanctuary was abandoned after 400 AD. The religious center moved from the Martberg to Karden where an early christian community was established.
Since the year of 2006 AD it is possible to visit the celtic-roman sanctuary again. The major temple with its impressive wall paintings and one minor temple are reconstructed completely. Two other temples and the surrounding wall are rebuilt partly. Furthermore you can see some houses built in the way of the celtic period. Many of the objects from the Martberg and 2000 years of the history of Karden can be seen in the Stiftsmuseum of Treis-Karden. The museum is located next to the church of Karden.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.