Knock Castle, also known as Caisteal Chamuis is a former stronghold of the MacDonalds. Currently the castle is in ruins; it consists of an old 15th century keep of which one part, a window, remains to some height with traces of later buildings.
The castle was constructed by the Clan MacLeod and later captured by the Clan MacDonald in the late 15th century. Ownership of the castle passed between the two clans several times. It was remodelled in 1596 by the MacDonalds. By 1689 the castle was abandoned and started to decay. Most of the stones were then used for nearby buildings.
It is claimed by tradition that the castle is haunted by a Green Lady, a gruagach - a ghost associated with the fortunes of the family who occupy the castle. The ghost will appear happy if good news is to come; if there is bad news she will weep. The castle is also said to have had a glaistig, a spirit which is said to have a particular concern with caring for the livestock.
There is no way to get to Knock Castle directly by vehicle. There is a private road just off the A851 that leads down toward working farm buildings. The trail to the castle can be found by following the road to a livestock gate. Hidden in the vegetation on the right side of the pathway is a small wooden picket gate covered with lichen. On the other side of the gate is a faint trail that will eventually lead across a river to the castle, passing in front of a very old red-roofed farm building. The easiest approach to the castle is by following the trail upward after passing the farm building. On the right hand side after the farm building are the remains of what appears to be a blacksmith's forge.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.