The Church of St.Peter and Paul is one of the best preserved churches in Italy. It was built in the 12th century by Julius of Novara, who was allied with the Romanic army. They decided that they wanted to replace an already existing church with a much bigger one, on the same location. The St. Peter and St. Paul Church was built under the Roman influence and is characterized by a strong Romanesque style. The church features various artworks, including paintings and frescos dedicated to Queen Mary, St.Peter and St.Paul, the patrons of the town.
The Church is located on or near the site of an earlier Roman Temple, dedicated to Minerva, built to celebrate a victory against the Celts, who occupied the cities of Milano and Como.
St.Paul and Peter Church is associated with the myth of St.Jiulius, the founder of the church. The myth tells that Jiulius came with his brother from Greece to evangelize the area close to Orta Lake, and decided to destroy the Temple of Minerva and build the Brebbia Church. The Church has undergone various renovations, including the change of the central nave in the 17th century, which now includes more complex trusses, and the restyling of the artworks.
St. Peter and Paul Church has a typical Romanesque architecture: it is elementary and characterized by three naves and one apse, located at the end of the main nave and orientated to the east. There is a transept that comes out from the secondary naves.
The main nave was originally characterized by a truss, substitued in the 17th century by a vault. This renovation work destabilized the building and because of that it required further structural modifications, which include the addition of tie-rods and metal slabs. These additions still remain visible on the church exterior.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.