During the High Middle Ages ownership of Brenz an der Brenz rested with a minor noble family who took their name from the location. Members of this family are mentioned several times in the records from this time. In the Galluskirche there is a gravestone from 1190 for Sebolt von Brenz who is listed as a Crusader. After 1250 a side line of the noble family von Güssenberg occupied Schloss Brenz. To pay debts, the family quickly fell into highway robbery and the castle was destroyed under orders of Louis IV in 1340. However the castle was partly repaired soon afterward.
The Güssen family became too poor to support the castle, and in 1613 sold the entire village and castle to the Duchy of Württemberg. In 1617 Duke Julius Friedrich von Württemberg took the villages of Brenz and Weiltingen under his control, founding the junior Württemberg line of Württemberg-Weiltingen. Schloss Brenz was used as a temporary home for his family. However, the damaged castle was destroyed in 1634 during the Battle of Nördlingen of the Thirty Years' War. In 1672 Duke Friedrich Ferdinand had the castle rebuilt in a Renaissance style. The foundation of the old castle and some portions of the walls are still visible, but most of the castle was built new.
After the junior Württemberg-Weiltingen line died out, Brenz returned to the main line House of Württemberg. Duke Eberhard Ludwig gave the castle to his mistress Wilhelmine von Grävenitz in 1721. When she fell out of favor, she was forced to leave Württemberg and all her gifts behind. Schloss Brenz remained generally empty afterward, though a branch of the family von Racknitz lived in the castle for a short while.
In 1847 the community inherited the castle. It was used for by the city government and also as a school. In 1906 the oldest Community Heritage Museum in Württemberg was founded in the castle. The Baroque portal in the Knights hall was repainted in 1931 by Heinrich Eberhard. The building was renovated in 1972 and the regional Registar as well as the community room for the local Protestant congregation were added.
The castle museum is described as a geological, paleontological and community heritage museum. The museum was founded in 1906 on the initiative of the inhabitants of Brenz an der Brenz. The core of the museum is the collection of notable fossils from the Swabian Jura from professor Hans Wagner. The community heritage section contains earthenware and stoneware, pewter tableware and cast iron stove tops, costumes from the lower Brenztal as well as rural tools.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.