The first documents of Baena Castle date at the beginning of the 9th century (890), during the reign of Emir Ahdullah, whose Governor in Regio since 889 had been Omar Ben Hafsum who rebelled and took Baena in 891.
In 1228, the governor of Fernando III in Baeza attacked the castle, belonging then to Seville. Subsequently the castle was attacked by Mohamed, the king of Granada, 1297. In July 1320 a peace treaty was signed in this castle between the Alonso XI and Ismail, King of Granada, which guaranteed this peace for eight years. In 1332, this same Alfonso XI garrisoned the castle in the face of danger from Granada, and in 1341 he left Baena to attack the Nasrid kingdom, not before providing the fortress with men and materials. In 1362 Abu Said, King of Granada, the Bermejo, took refuge in Baena and was accompanied to Seville by people from Cordoba.
In 1401 the castle was ceded by Henry III to the Marshal, Don Diego Fernández de Córdoba, with the opposition of the inhabitants of the city, taking possession of it in 1438.
Since the 16th century it has been used as the Palacio de los Duques. Diego Fernández de Córdoba, III Conde de Cabra, established his residence in the castle at the beginning of the 16th century and gave it a more palatial character. In 1520 the Baena and Condado de Cabra estate became related by marriage to the Duchy of Sessa. En 1566, by a Royal Decree of Philip II, Baena became the Duchy of Baena whereupon the lords of Baena came to be the Dukes of Sessa and Baena. It is from that time when there began to be a succession of structural changes in the fortified enclosure aimed at making the place suitable as a residence, and the military character of the complex faded into the background.
Baena Castle is square and still has part of its original walls and three of the four towers located in those of: El Secreto, Los Cascabeles and the last one of the Cinco Esquinas or Las Arqueras.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.