Colpach Castle was originally a small medieval stronghold surrounded by a moat, similar to the castles at Ell and Everlange. The earliest reference dates from 1303. From 1628, it belonged to the Pforzheims who filled in the moat and converted it into a modest manor house around 1747 (the date on the entrance gate). In the 19th century, it was administered as a farming centre by Baron Edouard de Marches who lived in Guirsch Castle near Arlon. In about 1870, he laid out the gardens surrounding the castle. The lake with an island, the curved pathways, the ornamental bushes and trees can still be seen today. In 1874, his widow née Cécile Papier married the famous Hungarian painter Michael Munkácsy. They spent their summers in Colpach Castle and the winters in Paris. In 1886, Franz Liszt visited the couple in Colpach shortly before his death. After 1900, the castle was increasingly deserted by Munkácsy's widow who died in 1915.
Émile Mayrisch, head of ARBED, bought the castle and surrounding area on 27 January 1917. From 1917 to 1920, he had the castle enlarged and modified by the architect Sosthène Weis, lending it a simple but elegant style.
Together with his wife Aline, Mayrisch made the castle a centre of attraction for noteworthy politicians, economists, writers and artists between the two world wars. Guests included Walther Rathenau, André Gide, Jacques Rivière, Otto Bartning and Théo van Rysselberghe.
In 1947, Aline Mayrisch bequeathed the castle to the Red Cross for use as a convalescent home. The facilities have been constantly improved over the years. The park is open to visitors all the year round. It is particularly suitable for handicapped visitors.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.