The Caliphal Baths are Arab baths in Córdoba. They are situated in the historic centre which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994. The hammam ('baths) are contiguous to the Alcázar andalusí; ablutions and bodily cleanliness were an essential part of a Muslim's life, mandatory before prayer, besides being a social ritual.
The baths were constructed in the 10th century, under the Caliphate of Al-Hakam II for the enjoyment of the caliph and his court. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, they were used by Almoravids and Almohads, their dynasties noted by the plaster-carved acanthus motif and epigraphic bands of the era, which are stored in the Archaeological and Ethnological Museum of Cordoba. The remains of the baths were found accidentally in 1903 in the Campo Santo de los Mártires, and were subsequently buried. Between 1961 and 1964, a group of city historians recovered them.
The Caliphal Baths have different sections of cold, warm and hot water baths. Architectural details include rooms with masonry walls, semicircular arches, and columns with capitals. The ceiling is punctuated by cut-outs of stars.References:
The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.
In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.
The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.
A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.