Obertagstein Castle was probably built in the 13th century by the Masein/Rialt family near Untertagstein Castle. In 1316 Margareta von Rialt left all her properties in Tagstein to her nieces. The first mention of a castle in the area is in 1322, but it probably refers to Untertagstein in Masein. In 1322 the male line of the Rialt family died out and it was inherited by the Bärenburg family. The Bärenburg family were ministerialis, or unfree knights in service to a higher noble, to Vaz family. After the extinction of the Vaz family in 1337, they became vassals of the Counts of Toggenburg and the castle was given to the Tumb family. They began to refer to themselves as von Tagstein, but again probably referring to Untertagstein. In 1385 and 1387 Untertagstein is specifically mentioned.
The castle was originally built with an outer gate at the south-west corner of the castle. This gate led to narrow path that wrapped around the southern side of the castle, passed through a middle gate and then led to an inner gate on the east side. At some point in the castle's history the western wall at the main cistern collapsed. The cistern was abandoned and the hole in the wall became a new gate. The old outer gate was then walled up.
In the 15th century the castle was gutted by a fire and abandoned. In 1512 the ruins of Obertagstein were recorded in the property of Cazis Priory. As early as the 16th century the castle was visited by hikers who carved their initials and dates into the plaster walls.
The castle occupies the entire top of a small rock outcropping south of Thusis. The castle complex is about 15 m × 15 m. Storage buildings and workshops were probably built on the mountain side of the outcropping and were separated from the castle by a ditch. Above the ditch was a ring wall that is mostly still standing. During construction the trunks of two trees were left standing and incorporated into the wall. Across a small courtyard, the palas filled the eastern end of the complex. The original entrance into the castle was on the east side of the palas, but after the cistern collapse the outer gate was sealed. The new western entrance had a wooden bridge over the ditch.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.