Guadix is believed to be one of the oldest diocesan seats in Spain; tradition has it that the diocese was founded by Saint Torquatus of Acci in the first century A.D. The cathedral sits on the site of an earlier Hispano-Visigothic church extant in the 10th century, and which functioned during the Islamic period as a mosque.
During the Reconquista, Guadix was captured by the Christian forces in 1489, and the Hispano-Visigothic church was re-established as the seat of a bishopric. It was made a cathedral by a bull of Pope Innocent VIII. Plans were made to replace the old church with a Gothic cathedral as a symbol of the Reconquista, but by the time construction began, that style was already considered antiquated. Diego de Siloé was commissioned in 1549 to develop a design reflecting the influence of the cathedrals of Málaga and Granada. The apse, part of the crossing, the chapel of Don Tadeo and parte part of the sacristy were completed according to Siloé's plan.
In 1574, work stopped for lack of money, and was not resumed until 1594, when Bishop Juan de Fonseca y Guzmán resumed the project.
The work received a new impulse at the end of the 17th century and beginning of the 18th with economic assistance from the king. Blas Antonio Delgado was placed in charge of the new plans, with changes in the design giving more emphasis to horizontal lines. Delgado laid out the general design of the cathedral, the elevations, the doors and the cupola, but in 1714 had to move to Jaén. Vicente Acero took over, reworking the plan extensively, before also having to move on. The city government approached Francisco de Hurtado Izquierdo; rather than take on the project himself, he recommended Gaspar Cayón de la Vega. The strong imprint of Cayón de la Vega can be seen in the latter stages of construction of the building, in the vaulting, the dome, and in the portada de las Azucenas—the front portion of the building, utilizing a motif of lilies—which Acero had begun.
When Cayón de la Vega left for Cádiz in 1731, the façade was under construction according to his plans, but others such as Vicente Acero, Pachote, and Thomas added pieces that were not in Cayón's plan.
The chapel of Don Tadeo shows strong Italian structural influences in its solution to the problem of vaulting arches within a cylindrical structure. Another notable element is the front of the sacristy, with its Renaissance pediment, its entablature, and the arch between Corinthian columns with the coats of arms of the bishops of the city.
The façade is a splendid example of the Baroque architecture, with two massed bodies and a pinnacle, with alternating concave and convex lines; the large central span, flanked by two lintels composed of groups of broad-based columns. The upper part was realized by Fernández Pachote and Domingo Thomas; Antonio Valeriano Moyano sculpted the marble Incarnation.References:
The Beckov castle stands on a steep 50 m tall rock in the village Beckov. The dominance of the rock and impression of invincibility it gaves, challenged our ancestors to make use of these assets. The result is a remarkable harmony between the natural setting and architecture.
The castle first mentioned in 1200 was originally owned by the King and later, at the end of the 13th century it fell in hands of Matúš Èák. Its owners alternated - at the end of the 14th century the family of Stibor of Stiborice bought it.
The next owners, the Bánffys who adapted the Gothic castle to the Renaissance residence, improved its fortifications preventing the Turks from conquering it at the end of the 16th century. When Bánffys died out, the castle was owned by several noble families. It fell in decay after fire in 1729.
The history of the castle is the subject of different legends. One of them narrates the origin of the name of castle derived from that of jester Becko for whom the Duke Stibor had the castle built.
Another legend has it that the lord of the castle had his servant thrown down from the rock because he protected his child from the lords favourite dog. Before his death, the servant pronounced a curse saying that they would meet in a year and days time, and indeed precisely after that time the lord was bitten by a snake and fell down to the same abyss.
The well-conserved ruins of the castle, now the National Cultural Monument, are frequently visited by tourists, above all in July when the castle festival takes place. The former Ambro curia situated below the castle now shelters the exhibition of the local history.