Kostanjevica Franciscan Monastery with the Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady stands on a hill dividing the town of Nova Gorica and the suburb of Pristava. It is located just some 200 meters from the border with Italy. It is famous as the burial place of Charles X of France and his family.
In 1623 as small Carmelite sanctuary was erected just outside the limits of the town of Gorizia. In the next hundred years, a monastery was built next to the church, while the monastic chapel became an important site for pilgrims from Friuli and Goriška regions. In 1781, the monastery was disbanded by the Habsburg Emperor Joseph II. In 1811, the Franciscan friars acquired the abandoned complex, re-establishing the monastery. Among other, they brought a notable library containing some 10,000 books, which they transferred from the nearby Sveta Gora monastery. Today, the library is named after Father Stanislav Škrabec, a renowned Slovene linguist from the 19th century who lived and worked in the monastery for more than 40 years.
The Kostanjevica monastery was severely damaged in the Battles of the Isonzo during World War I. It was restored between 1924 and 1929. Until the end of World War II, the monastery was part of the town of Gorizia. In 1947, the border between Italy and Yugoslavia was set just a few hundred meters westward from the monastery, and Kostanjevica became part of the newly established town of Nova Gorica.
In the 19th century, the crypt of the Franciscan monastery was used for the burial of members of the French House of Bourbon who went into exile after the July Revolution. Most of them had settled in Gorizia, then part of the Austrian Empire, in the 1830s. The most famous of these is Charles X of France, King of France and Navarre.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.