Castle ruins stand dominantly on Jurassic rocks above the market town of Wellheim in the ancient Danube valley.Of its former palas and the other buildings of the main castle only parts of the exterior walls and enceinte remain. The palas was sited in the east, a balcony linking it to a residential building in the south. In the north rises the mighty, quadratic tower of the bergfried, made of rusticated ashlar blocks with channelled joints. The roughly 35-metre-high tower is topped by a later, brick, upper storey (with round arch window openings) that once had a saddle roof. The original tower was topped by crenellations, that can still be made out from the stonework. The round arched, walled up elevated entrance is on the south side. Today the castle courtyard is filled with rubble to a depth of a metre and overgrown; formerly the entrance was about six metres about the level of the ground. The north wall had to be rebuilt in 1935, because many of the ashlars had been removed since 1836 for use as construction material. The walls are made of double-skinned limestone masonry with mortar and rock filling.
In 1857 an entire storey of the palas had to be demolished as it was in danger of collapse.
The enceinte runs down the slope to ring the middle bailey. Here, too, there was once a smaller, quadrangular building of which only a few remnants have survived.
Below that is the lower bailey. The enceinte here appears to have been repaired several times. Outside a small tower enabled grazing fire to be brought to bear. The wall remains of the two small rooks near the gate were used as livestock sheds. Of the gateway itself only a gap in the wall remains today.
In the 15th century, a zwinger was built in front of the lower ward. Its northern point was guarded by a round tower. The local road to Gammersfeld runs along the northwestern part of the external moat today. The moat is secured on the steep eastern hillside by a retaining wall, which was reinforced on the outer side by a square flanking tower.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.