Dun Troddan is one of the best preserved brochs in Scotland. It stands on a level rock platform north of the Abhainn a’Ghlaine Bhig, in the lower reaches of Gleann Beag. The neighbouring broch of Dun Telve lies 470 metres to the west, whilst the 'semi-broch' known as Dun Grugaig is around 2 kilometres to the southeast.
Dun Troddan was first sketched in about 1720 when it was still an intact tower. It is thought that it was over 12 metres high in 1720. It was robbed for stone in 1722 during the construction of Bernera Barracks in Glenelg. The broch was visited by Thomas Pennant in 1772, and it was still a substantial structure, although it had lost the upper gallery by this time. The broch consists of a drystone tower which measures around 17.5 metres in diameter, and currently stands to a maximum height of 7 metres. The external walls are 4.5 metres thick at the base.
The entrance is on the southwest side, and is now roofless. On the left side of the entrance passage is a small side-chamber, sometimes called a 'guard cell'. The broch has features now missing from Dun Telve; these include a number of postholes in the floor and a hearth. Built into the hearth is a broken quern-stone. The central court is an almost perfect circle with a diameter of 8.56 metres.
An internal doorway in the remaining high part of the wall provides access to a stairway. From here it is possible to ascend nine stairs to a first floor landing. The landing is 5.7 metres long, at a height of 2.4 metres above the central court. At the end of the landing can be seen the first step which would have led up the next flight of stairs.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.