Ambrussum is a Roman archaeological site in Villetelle. Ambrussum is notable for its museum, staging post on the Via Domitia, bridge Pont Ambroix over the Vidourle and the oppidum (fortified village). Its history of settlement spanned 400 years.
The whole site is still being excavated. A lower settlement prone to flooding was a staging post for travellers on the Via Domitia and provided stabling and accommodation and the full range of repair facilities that were needed by carts and the Imperial postal service. The higher settlement was based on a pre-Roman oppidum which was within a surrounding wall including 21 towers. The Romans re-modelled the oppidum, so there is evidence of a complete range of housing styles from the earliest one room dwellings to sophisticated courtyard houses on the second century AD.
The Roman road, the Via Domitia, ran at the foot of the settlement, leading from it is a paved road with visible with traces of Roman chariot tracks. The Roman bridge was used until the Middle Ages but fell into disrepair, and only one complete arch remains.
The site was first settled in 2,300 BC and the construction started on the oppidum around 300 BC. It was a settlement of Gauls. The Romans conquered the area in 120 BC. The paved road at the heart of the oppidum was laid around 100 BC. The staging post on the Via Domitia and the Pont Ambroix were constructed at around 30 BC. The flow patterns of the river changed around 10 BC, it became more aggressive and flooding became more frequent. The large houses on the south of the oppidum were built in AD 50. The whole oppidum abandoned in AD 100, but parts of the lower settlement were still in use in AD 400, and the Pont Ambroix continued in use through the Middle Ages.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.