Dolmen de Dombate is arguably the one of the most valuable megaliths located in Spain. Not only due to the relative good conservation of the monument, but also for several peculiarities that make it unique. The monument is actually two Tombs constructed in two different time frames, one over the other. The dolmen (dated 3900 BC) is composed of a 24m diameter, 1,8m high barrow which does not seem to have totally covered the actual chamber. The later is a poligonal chamber composed of seven orthostats (the bigger one at the back of the monument is 4,7x3m) covered by a massive capstone. This chamber was accessed by a three segment - 4m long - corridor made of six orthostats of decreasing heights. The corridor, covered by a capstone and probably by the barrow, is oriented to the East.
Inside the megalith, several petroglyphs have been found, but what makes this Dolmen unique in Spain is the discovery of several paintings in both the chamber and the access corridor. These pictures are Zig-Zag motives in reddish colour with black dots over a whitish base. Objects encountered inside the tomb reveal different periods of usage, and range from early neolithic silex blades to pre-beaker pottery. All in all the Dolmen was used from its creation (3900 BC) to 2700BC when a final lith was installed blocking all access.Other objects dating from 2700BC to contemporary times have been found since the first re-opening of the megalith by Beaker Culture gravediggers.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.