Isenburg is a ruined castle located high above the valley of the Zwickauer Mulde. Archaeological finds indicate that this site already existed in the 12th century. Little is known about the history of spur castle and its violent destruction. There are no verified, documented references. Oral traditions - the first account dates to 1738 - called the Isenburg a 'robber castle,' the 'Old Castle' and the 'Iron Castle', from which its present name is derived. The castle had been destroyed by the 14th century and was never rebuilt. Its ruins were probably used from the 15th to 17th centuries as shelters for the local population during times of conflict. Around 1750, the remains of the castle were demolished to build the stone church in Wildbach.
The recommended way to visit the castle ruins is by foot from Hartenstein railway station which takes about 30 minutes. Only about 200 metres from the station is Stein Castle. At this spot the route crosses the Zwickauer Mulde river to a point immediately below Schloss Wolfsbrunn. Here the route turns left and winds through the Poppenwald upstream and parallel to the Mulde. After a short, but steep, climb known as 'Gentle Henry' (Sanfter Heinrich), the path forks. Keeping right, the route passes the Wildbach Church on an easy forest path. Here there are signs to the ruins which are another 700 metres further on.
The left-hand fork leads via a wild and romantic narrow path on top of the river bank of the Mulde to the same destination. This path is called the 'Raubrittersteig' ('Robber Baron Climb') and is one of the most attractive walks in the Mulde Valley.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.