Falsterbo Lighthouse lies on the place of the oldest known beacon in Scandinavia. The sea route past the Falsterbo Headland has always been dangerous, because of the moving sand banks hidden in the sea. The first beacon was lit by German monks already in the 13th century. By that time Falsterbo was an important trading centre in Denmark. The beacon was placed at the then outermost point. When the trading became less important (16th century) there were periods without any beacon at Falsterbo. This caused a great loss of ships of the coast of Falsterbo.
In the 1630s the open fires were replaced by a lever light. An iron basket full of burning coal was hoisted up and down by a balanced bar. Hence the light was moving and easier to detect. The coal fire was intensely red and could not be mistaken for a star or ship lantern. The rests of the beacon are still visible as a small hillock of ashes and coal, "Coal Hill" (Kolabacken). Towards the end of the 18th century the lever light was moved to the site of the present lighthouse, closer to the new shoreline.
The lighthouse was built in 1793-96 and the "light" was a coal fire at the top. In 1842-43 the uppermost crenellated parts were replaced with the present lantern. Coal was replaced with oil. The oil was very inflammable and the lighthouse keepers had to watch the lamp all night. To make a periodic light; a screen was moved around the lantern by heavy plummets. Around 1850 a house for the keeper was built next to the lighthouse. At the end of the 19th century another house was built for the assistants to the lighthouse keeper.
Also when the oil was replaced with parraffine and, later, gas, the screen still had to be moved around. When electric light was installed in 1935 the screen was removed and so was a major part of the staff. Only one lighthouse keeper remained. In 1972 the lighthouse was automatised and the last keeper retired.
The lighthouse is 25 metres high and 12 metres broad. Nowadays it has no importance as a navigation mark and therefore the light is not very strong. It was totally turned off 1990-93.
Even though the lighthouse is managing itself nowadays, there are still lots of activities around it. Falsterbo is one of twenty synoptic weather stations in Sweden still manned. The lighthouse garden is the ringing site of the Falsterbo Bird Observatory. Falsterbo is a premier site in Europe to watch autumn bird migration. Every year on last Sunday of August it is "Lighthouse Day". Then the lighthouse is open to the public. Visitors are shown not only the lighthouse itself but also bird ringing and the weather station.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.