The Old Town of Bar (Stari Bar) is the largest and the most important medieval archaeological site in the Balkans. It covers the area of 4.5 hectares, where the remains of around 600 public and private edifices are the proof of the existence of various construction phases present in different epochs of the Mediterranean history.
The visual identity of the Old Town of Bar is formed by the ramparts, bastions, towers, a citadel, numerous squares and churches. On the western and northern side, in the immediate surroundings of the ramparts of the Old Town of Bar there is an incompatible ambient whole consisting of the settlement and the suburban area of the Old Bar, while on the southern and eastern side there is a preserved natural setting of the slopes of Mount Rumija.
It is in the historical sources from the 10th century that the Old Town of Bar is mentioned for the first time, however it is assumed that it had existed even in the 6th century in the form of the rehabilitated Roman castrum. It was established in a naturally protected place and surrounded by strong walls with towers and bastions. The residential architecture of the town is characterized by Late Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and oriental elements.
The Old Town of Bar has been deserted since the end of the 19th century. After the 1979 earthquake, technical specifications and project design documents were made, along with the research programmes and the plans for the protection and presentation of the Town core. The most significant structures of the upper part of the town were being explored, conserved and presented during the first and the second round of the works. Yet another drafted and fully implemented project included infrastructural works on the route leading from the main gate to St. George's Cathedral. This clearly shows the unambiguous interest in rehabilitation of certain structures and in reestablishing corresponding functions of the same, all in line with the programmes relative to their purpose. The electrical supply network enabled the installation of public lighting, the illumination of certain monuments and communications. Thanks to the regular investments and technical maintenance related to the cleaning of vegetation, the upper part of the town is accessible to public.
The lower, southern part of the town with the suburban rampart has not been treated and it is rather dilapidated. Ample vegetation endangers the remains of the architecture and makes them invisible.
In the area of the Old Town of Bar there is rich cultural-historic heritage of outstanding significance. The most important single structures in the Old Town of Bar are Main Gate (14th-16th century), Saint Nicola's Church (13th century), Tatarovica Citadel (10th to 19th century) with the military chapel, Aqueduct at Tatarovica and Saint George's Cathedral (11th-15th century) among others.References:
Having lived in a totally modern house for the past 10 years, I now simply love older buildings...older the better in my opinion! I simply love the fact that Stari Bar is steeped in history and dates back to medievel times with its history and architecture. Each building and "newer" layer, will have a story to tell. I now love the history of old buildings so much, that we now live in a 400 year old property!
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.