Pécs Cathedral has been a prominent feature of this Hungarian cityscape for centuries. In 1064, after a fire destroyed a Romanesque basilica, the King of Hungary, Peter Orseolo, initiated construction of Pécs Cathedral where the old church had stood. Completed in the twelfth century, it features Romanesque stone carvings of exceptional artistic value. In the 16th century, Turkish conquerors converted it into a mosque.
The Hungarians, who regained control of the city in 1686, altered the building in the course of its return to a site of Christian worship. From 1806 to 1813, Mihaly Pollack, a master Hungarian architect, remodeled the building in the Gothic Revival style but did not address structural problems that had accrued due to the many changes to the building in the preceding centuries.
By the late 19th century, much of the building was in critical need of structural repairs. From 1882 through 1891 architect Friedrich von Schmidt oversaw a restoration project that essentially leveled the building to its foundations and rebuilt it in a neo-Romanesque style. In 1990, Pope John Paul II’s visit to the cathedral was an occasion to draw new attention to the historic importance of the structure.References:
Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.
The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.
At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.
‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.
Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.
The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.
The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.