Łańcut Castle was the residence of the Pilecki, Lubomirski and Potocki families. The complex includes a number of buildings and is surrounded by a park.
The history of Łańcut stretches back to the early Middle Ages, founded as a town in 1349 under King Casmir the Great. The major landowning families in Łańcut were, successively, the Pilecki’s, Stadnicki’s, Lubomirski’s and the Potocki’s.
The first residence of the Łańcut dukes was located on a hill in the northern part of the town. The present castle was built for Stanisław Lubomirski in 1629 - 1642. At that time it was a modern, palazzo forteza type of residence, consisting of living quarter with donjons at the corners, surrounded by bastion fortifications. The builders included Maciej Trapola, Krzysztof Mieroszewski, Tylman from Gameren and Giovanni Battista Falconi.
In the second half of the 18th century, the then current owner of Łańcut, Izabela Lubomirska of the Czartoryski family, converted the fortress into palace-park complex. She employed outstanding artists such as Szymon Bogumił Zug, Jan Christian Kamsetzer, Christian Piotr Aigner, Fryderyk Bauman and Vincenzo Brenna.
The most important changes were made to the layout and equipment of the castle, adapting them to the needs of the fashion of the times. The palace was filled with excellent works of art. In the 1870s, work started to create the park surrounding the castle. After levelling the embankments and re-aligning the road surrounding the moat, lime-trees were planted out creating an avenue.
At the end of 18th century, Łańcut was one of the greatest residences in Poland. It featured an active musical and theatrical life, with many famous guests staying. In 1816, after Princess Izabela Lubomirska’s death, the whole estate became a property of her grandson Alfred Potocki the First, who in 1830 created electoral law in Łańcut.
His son, Alfred Józef the Second, was tightly connected with the ruling house of Habsburgs. He rarely visited Łańcut, and so the castle together with the park fell into disuse.
After Alfred the Second’s death, Łańcut moved into Roman Potocki’s hands, who together with his wife, Elżbieta from the Radziwiłł family, returned it to its former splendour.
From 1889 to 1911, the castle was renovated and reconstructed, the works led by French architect Armand Beaugue and Italian draughtsman Albert Pio.
The reconstruction included all floors, and water supply, sewerage and electrical systems were installed throughout the castle. Most of the present interiors were created at that time. The elevations were converted into French neo-baroque style. Works in the park started in 1890 and continued for 14 years. It was twice enlarged and surrounded fenced in. An Italian garden was created near eastern side of the castle, while a rose garden was arranged on the southern side of the Orangery.
After this thorough reconstruction and modernisation, the Łańcut palace-park complex became one of the most luxurious residences in the continental Europe, and archdukes such Rudolf and Frank Ferdinand were frequent guests. The residence was visited by many representatives of famous aristocratic dynasties and famous diplomats. At the beginning of 20th century Łańcut electoral law was in fifth place, in respect of its area, in Poland.
The next Lord of the Manor in Łańcut, from 1915, was Alfred Potocki the Third. In 1920s the central heating was modernized, and a bathing suite installed in underground rooms. Łańcut Castle became a place for social meetings. The castle was visited by representatives of royal dynasties, Polish and foreign aristocracy and politicians. These included Rumanian King Ferdinand together with his wife, and George the Duke of Kent. In 1944 Potocki had to leave Łańcut. He settled in Switzerland, where he died in 1958.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.