Ettersburg Castle lies on the edge of the forest on the northern side of the Grosse Ettersberg. This woodland has been the hunting ground for the Dukes of Weimar since the 17th century. Duke Wilhelm Ernst started building the castle at the beginning of the 18th century; the work was completed by his nephew Ernst August. From 1776 to 1780, the Dowager Duchess Anna Amalia of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach held her summer court in Ettersburg and became the centre of a circle of literary and musical figures. A second golden age of culture began when the castle was taken over by Carl Alexander, Anna Amalia’s great-grandson, in 1842. The young duke had the two castle parterres reconstructed in accordance with designs by Carl Eduard Petzold. Petzold also laid the six-hectare landscaped park at the west of the castle and the great forest house meadow which stretches east of the valley base from the old castle to the forester’s house. In 1845, the castle avenue, one of the intersecting hunting trails, was widened with the suggestion and under the direction of Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau to form the so-called Pücklerschlag.
After 1919, Ettersburg Castle became the property of the State of Thuringia. The various users of the castle neglected the parkland over the following years. The Pücklerschlag was divided in 1946 as part of the land reform measures. In 1968, the entire Ettersburg estate passed on to the trusteeship of the National Research and Memorial Sites of Classical German Literature (NFG), which also took over the administration of the castle and park in 1979. Since then, the ongoing maintenance of the castle has been guaranteed. The renovation work includes the reconstruction of the paths through the park, the rejuvenation of the trees and shrubs on the southern slope and the parterres on both sides of the castle.
In 2009, the Bildungswerk BAU Hessen-Thüringen e.V. signed a 55-year lease on the Ettersburg Castle, at which association operates a seminar and conference centre. However, the castle gardens and park grounds remain under the management of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar.
Schloss Ettersburg is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of 'Classical Weimar'.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.