Landskron is a ruined castle northeast of Villach in the state of Carinthia. The estates around Lake Ossiach were first mentioned in an 878 deed issued by the East Frankish king Carloman of Bavaria, who granted them to the monastery of Altötting he had established shortly before. About 1024 the area was among the Carinthian possessions of one Count Ozi of the Chiemgau, probably a scion of the Otakar dynasty, who founded Ossiach Abbey nearby. A castle already existed, when in 1330 the estates were acquired by the Counts of Ortenburg; Landskron itself was first mentioned in 1351.
In 1355, the Habsburg duke Albert II of Austria, also Carinthian duke since 1335, purchased Landskron Castle as a strategic important stronghold within the Carinthian possessions of the Bamberg prince-bishops. Later, the Habsburg rulers temporarily gave it in pawn to the Counts of Celje, heirs of the Ortenburg dynasty in 1418, and the Lords of Stubenberg. In 1511 Emperor Maximilian bestowed the estate to the Knightly Order of Saint George at Millstatt, while the fortress decayed.
In 1542 Emperor Ferdinand I finally sold Landskron Castle to the Ortenburg castellan Christoph Khevenhüller in 1542, who made the castle his main residence and had it rebuilt in a lavish Renaissance style. In 1552 Khevenhüller even received the visit of Emperor Charles V, who, on the run from the Protestant troops of Elector Maurice of Saxony, had fled to Carinthia. Nevertheless the Khevenhüllers, themselves Protestant, were stripped of Landskron Castle by order of Emperor Ferdinand II in 1628.
The castle passed to the comital family of Dietrichstein in 1639. After the 1648 Peace of Westphalia the Khevenhüllers claimed it back and began a decades-long lawsuit, though without success. A blaze in 1812 finally devastated Landskron, which was not rebuilt and fell into ruins. In 1953, its remains were conserved and a restaurant was opened within its walls. Today the castle is also known for its falconry centre conducting regular flying demonstrations.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.