Differdange Castle was built in 1577 although an earlier fortified castle of Differdange dates from around 1310. The first lord of the castle was Wilhelm, brother of the Lord of Soleuvre, who is mentioned in documents from 1310 when he owned a fortified castle. However, the lords of Differdange lasted only until the death of Wilhelm's grandson around the year 1400. When Soleuvre Castle burnt down in 1552, the owner Anna von Insenburg decided not to repair it but to build a Renaissance-style residential castle in Differdange serving both Soleuvre and Differdange. At the beginning of the 20th century, the castle came into the hands of the local steel industry, now Arcelor Mittal who used it as a hotel and a restaurant for its staff.

Differdange Castle is probably the earliest example in Luxembourg of a château built entirely in the Renaissance style. It was originally intended both as a residence and a fortification with a moat and draw-bridge (now both removed) as well as loop-holes. It is constructed fully in accordance with the principles of Renaissance architecture, especially the use of the square both for the courtyard and the outer walls of the three buildings which surround it. The rectangular cross-framed windows are typlical of the period. The octagonal towers which are slightly higher than the central building provide balance between the horizontal and vertical dimensions.

Since 1997, the castle has been let to Miami University for use as its Miami University Dolibois European Center.

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Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba

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.

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Architecture

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