The area around Lauperswil and Rüderswil was originally part of the Freiherrschaft of Signau. By the 12th century it was controlled by the lords of Ruoderswilare, who ruled out of a castle south-west of Rüderswil. By the 13th century this castle was replaced by the new Wartenstein Castle at Lauperswil. It is unknown when this castle was first built, but by 1228 the knight Swaro von Wartenstein lived there. His descendant, Heinrich Swaro, sold the castle in 1284 to Trub monastery, but received the castle back as a fief from the monastery.
By 1288, the castle was owned by Werner von Schweinsberg. The Schweinsberg family also owned land and Attinghausen Castle in the Canton of Uri. Werner's son was the famous Uri Landammann Werner von Attinghausen who signed an early treaty and led Uri during the early years of the Growth of the Old Swiss Confederacy. However, the castle at Wartenstein remained with the Schweinsberg family.
During the Burgdorferkrieg, in 1383, Bernese troops captured and burned the castle. In 1415 the last male heir, Thüring von Schweinsberg, died, leaving the ruins of the castle to his son in law Ulrich von Balmoos. In 1493, the Basel Junker Wilhelm Hug von Sulz inherited the ruins from his grand-children. He built a country manor house in the valley three years later. The castle ruins continued to change hands throughout the following centuries. The Herrschaft of Wartenstein was dissolved and Lauperswil village became part of the Vogtei of Trachselwald.
According to local legend, during the Bernese siege, the last lord of the castle ordered all his treasure thrown down the well. He and his daughter then attempted to flee the castle, but their horse slipped on the narrow trail and they both and the horse fell to their deaths in the valley below.
Drawings from the 19th century show that the main tower was mostly intact at that time, though portions have now collapsed. In 1965 the remaining walls of the inner castle were excavated and repaired.
The heavily weathered castle ruins are located on a wooded hill above the village of Lauperswil. It is about 1 kilometer north-west of the village section of Zollbrück along the Rüderswil road. A steep, about 20 minute, marked trail begins in the hamlet of Blindenbach and leads to the ruins.
The castle was built on a narrow ridge above the village, on three hand carved terraces. The northern terrace may have contained a bailey but that is uncertain. The southern terrace held the main castle with a tower, courtyard and great hall. On the east slope near the castle there are still traces of a building as well as the castle well.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.