San Lorenzo church was designed and built by Bartolino da Novara between 1375 and 1380. Restorations took place in 1840 and again in 1916.
The unfinished brick facade contains a central rose window and lateral ogival windows, flanked by buttresses that taper into roof spires. Two exterior 15th-century bas-reliefs are above the entry portal. In the pilaster strips are 19th-century copies of depictions of the Saints Albin, Amicus and Amelius found in a 15th-century polyptych by Paolo da Brescia, a work once in the local church St Albin and now conserved in the Sabauda Gallery of Turin.
Inside, in first span on the right there is an anonymous 15th-century fresco representing the Virgin and Child; in the second span, a Virgin between Saints Roch and Sebastian (1524) attributed to Gaudenzio Ferrari. The first chapel houses a panel depicting the Madonna of the Rosary (1578) by Bernardo Lanino; the same author painted a panel is crowned by tablets depicting the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary. The niche is completed by four canvases depicting the Archangel Gabriel and the Virgin of the Annunciation, Flight to Egypt, and Rest of the Holy Family by Giulio Cesare Procaccini, in addition to a canvas of Glory in Paradise attributed to Camillo Procaccini. In the second chapel, above the altar, is the large altarpiece depicting Crucifixion with Saints Ambrosius, Laurentius and Mary the Magdalen, (1610) by Giovanni Battista Crespi.
In the first chapel on the left is a 15th-century Christmas Nativity scene made in wood with about 80 low relief figures by Lorenzo da Mortara. Next to this is a San Carlo in prayer and St Anne with Virgin attributed to Pier Francesco Mazzucchelli.
The second chapel has a fifteenth-century polyptych on a six-parted table, by A. De Mulini.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.