The Chapel of San Bartolomé is a funerary chapel in the historic centre of Córdoba. It is dated between 1390 and 1410. Richly decorated, it is one of the city's finest examples of Mudéjar art.
Located on the Calle Averroes in today's Faculty of Arts building, the relatively unknown chapel is one of the city's most notable monuments. With the development of the Alcázar Viejo district in 1391 and the later expulsion of the Jews from La Judería, the parish of San Bartolomé was established while a church of the same name was constructed between 1399 and 1410. The little building continued to operate as a parish church until the 17th century, possibly awaiting completion of a larger church.
Rectangular in shape, the area is divided into two sections, one for the chapel itself, the other for a courtyard. Built of rusticated sandstone, the chapel has a rectangular floor measuring 9m by 5m. The chancel is slightly higher than the remainder of the building. There are two doors, one through a porch opening into a courtyard on Calle Averroes, the second, strangely locked from the outside, providing access into a side chapel which may have been connected to a sacristy in another building.
The entrance from the courtyard has a pointed arch with a few simple decorations while the other entrance, also pointed, has zigzag or sawtooth decorations. Two small columns bearing Islamic decorations with scrolls and leaves support the elegantly rib-vaulted ceiling. The interior walls are richly decorated with yeseria plasterwork and tiling while the floor is also decorated with alternating tiles. The wall decorations combine depictions of plants, geometric patterns and heraldry. The coats of arms belong to the Knights of the Band, an order created by King Alfonso XI. Inscriptions are in both Kufic and Naskh scripts.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.