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:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.