The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Holy Assumption in Valladolid was originally designed as the largest cathedral in Europe. Initially planned as the Cathedral for the capital city of Spain, ultimately, only 40-45% of the intended project was completed, due to lack of resources after the court moved towards Madrid, and the expenses caused by the difficult foundations of the church.
The structure has its origins in a late Gothic collegiate church, which begun in the late 15th century. The cathedral that was planned would have been immense. When construction started, Valladolid was the de facto capital of Spain, housing king Philip II and his court. However, due to strategic and geopolitical reasons, by the 1560s the capital was moved to Madrid and construction funds were largely cut. Thus the cathedral was not finished according to Herrera's design, and further modified during the 17th and 18th centuries, such as the addition to the top of the main façade, a work by Churriguera.
Its main façade is made up of two stretches of columns: the lower part, the work of Juan de Herrera, and the upper, that of Churriguera, which is characterised by its abundant decorative elements. The inside of the building is split up into three naves with side chapels between the butresses. The 15th century altarpiece is the work of Juan de Juni and depicts figures of saints. The Cathedral Museum is also to be found inside the church.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.