Silte Church dates from from the 13th century. During restorative work carried out in 1971-72, the remains of a stave church was however found under the floor of the presently visible church, pre-dating the present church with around one hundred years. The oldest part of the now visible stone church is the choir, dating from the middle of the century and in an early Gothic style. The nave is only slightly later, and apparently by the same workshop, while the tower seems to have been added at the end of the century.
The church is an almost unaltered medieval church. Unusually, even the window openings are original. These, as well as the portals, are decorated with stone dressings in alternating colours. The southern portal is also decorated with carved ornaments in Norse style. One of the choir windows contains some original stained glass window panes, dating from the time of the church's construction. Inside, the church is decorated with frescos from four different periods. The earliest date from the time of the church's construction, and are purely ornamental. On the western wall of the nave, a number of frescos from circa 1300 depict several saints. Next to these is a fresco depicting scenes from the Passion of Christ; these date from the middle of the 15th century. A final set of frescos, dated 1495, adorn the souther wall of the nave.
The church has two particularly noteworthy furnishings: the altarpiece and the baptismal font. The altarpiece is unique in its style on Gotland. Its outer wings are painted, and depict St. Michael, Mary and, on the back, the annunciation. These painting date from circa 1500. The central panel, by contrast, is decorated with wooden sculptures depicting the final judgement, and date from the 13th century. The baptismal font dates from the late 12th century and is thus older than the stone church. It was made by Master Sigraf, and is richly sculptured. Most other furnishings such as pews date from 1902, when a renovation was carried out. The pulpit is however from the middle of the 18th century.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.