A fortified château in Chamarande was built in the 16th century, probably for François Hurault, who in 1563 acquired the two seigneuries which make up the present estate and took up residence here. This castle corresponds to the present buildings of the commanderie. After the death of François Hurault in 1613, the château passed to his son Jean, who expanded the estate.
However, the château suffered in the Fronde and was in a poor state by the time it was sold in 1654 to Pierre Mérault. He built the present castle. Its design was formerly attributed to François Mansart without corroborating documentary evidence, but is now attributed to Nicolas de l'Espine. A rectangular building surrounded by a moat forms the living quarters, flanked on either side by the service wings The entrance to the main courtyard is flanked by two pavilions, with the left one containing the chapel.
In debt, Pierre Mérault sold the estate in 1684 to Clair Gilbert d'Ornaison known as Chamarande. The year after the sale, Louis promoted Bonnes into the 'county of Charamande' by letters patent. At d'Ornaison's death in 1737, the château passed to his first cousin and heir, Louis de Talaru, marquis de Chalmazel. The architect Pierre Contant d'Ivry worked on the château for de Talaru, building new service quarters beyond the secondary route near the village, and to the estate added an orangery, a belvédère, an oval bosquet and a cascatelle. He demolished the wall of the courtyard along the moat and put an ironwork gate with two lampholders in front of the bridge. He also modernised the interior decor.
In the 1780s, a water feature was added, with an island bordered by bald cypresses from Louisiana at its centre - it is traditionally attributed to the painter and garden designer Hubert Robert. After the French Revolution, Louis-Justin, marquis de Talaru, bought the estate under the Consulate and carried out repairs, redesigning the park in English style. Mayor of Chamarande, he lived at the Château until his death in 1850.
In 1852, the estate was sold to Pierre and René Robineau, and in 1857 it became the property of Victor Fialin, interior minister to Napoléon III and French ambassador to the United Kingdom. He created a luxuriously-furnished gallery on the château's ground floor, built a fortified wall round the estate, completed the transformation of the park and planted exotic trees. New service buildings were added: a farm, stables, a bergerie, a birdhouse, a kennel, a new icehouse and a winter garden. Near the new gate was placed an obelisk inspired by the Songe de Poliphile, which probably referred to the love-affairs of Henry II with Diane de Poitiers.
In 1876, the château was acquired by Aristide Boucicaut, founder of Bon Marché, who added a Renaissance-style dining room but died only a year after purchasing the château. From 1923 to 1951, the château was central to the creation of Scouting in France. In 1957, the last private owner was Auguste Mione, before the estate was bought in 1978, by the General Council of the Essonne.
In 2001, a contemporary art centre was set up at Chamarande at the instigation of Dominique Marchès. In season, from May to October, the centre hosts story-telling, music, dance and film festivals as well as gardening and heritage events in the park.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.