Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, Spain


Córdoba — La Mezquita. Laberinto de columnas.
The Mosque-Cathedral. Labyrinth of columns.
Published Agustin Fragero, Cordoba


Córdoba — La Mezquita. Una de las naves.
The Mosque-Cathedral. One of the naves.
Published Agustin Fragero, Cordoba

Google Maps (overhead view)
Google Maps, an internal view.

Cordoba’s period of greatest glory began in the 8th century after the Moorish conquest, when some 300 mosques and innumerable palaces and public buildings were built to rival the splendours of Constantinople, Damascus and Baghdad. In the 13th century, under Ferdinand III, the Saint, Cordoba’s Great Mosque was turned into a cathedral and new defensive structures, particularly the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos and the Torre Fortaleza de la Calahorra, were erected.

Founded by the Romans in the 2nd century BC near the pre-existing Tartesic Corduba, capital of Baetica, Cordoba acquired great importance during the period of Augustus. It became the capital of the emirate depending on Damascus in the 8th century. In 929, Abderraman III established it as the headquarters of the independent Caliphate. Cordoba’s period of greatest glory began in the 8th century after the Moorish conquest, when some 300 mosques and innumerable palaces and public buildings were built to rival the splendors of Constantinople, Damascus and Baghdad. In the 13th century, under Ferdinand III, Cordoba’s Great Mosque was turned into a cathedral and new defensive structures, particularly the Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos and the Torre Foraleza de la Calahorra, were erected.
From UNESCO Word Heritage Listing.

The building itself was expanded over two hundred years. It is comprised of a large hypostyle prayer hall (hypostyle means, filled with columns), a courtyard with a fountain in the middle, an orange grove, a covered walkway circling the courtyard, and a minaret (a tower used to call the faithful to prayer) that is now encased in a squared, tapered bell tower. The expansive prayer hall seems magnified by its repeated geometry. It is built with recycled ancient Roman columns from which sprout a striking combination of two-tiered, symmetrical arches, formed of stone and red brick.
Khan Academy

Official Website

Sacred Destinations.
Islamic Arts and Architecture
Wikipedia.

Zotokuin Temple, Motomachi, Yokohama, Japan


YOKOHAMA Obsèques Japonaises (montant au Temple).
(Japanese funeral rites (climbing to the Temple))

Zôtoku-in is a Kôya-san Shingon Buddhist temple in the Heiraku neighborhood of Yokohama; originally located in the Motomachi neighborhood and directly associated with the Yokohama Foreign Cemetery, it was moved to Heiraku, up on the Bluff, after the 1923 Great Kantô Earthquake. The chief objects of worship are Kôbô Daishi and Fudô Myôô. The temple’s Yakushi Hall, most recently rebuilt in 1972, remains in Motomachi. It is said to date, originally, to the 9th century, though there is no surviving documentation of this. The temple’s 20th century stone and metal main gate was replaced in 2008 with a new wooden gate in the traditional style.
The Samurai Archives (has links to Google Maps).

Motomachi, located at the foot of the Yamate area, was established when the residents of Yokohama Village moved here at the time of the opening of the port. Zotokuin Temple was located at the end of the main street (present day Motomachi-Dori). The building in this photograph is the Yakushi-do next to the main hall. The Yakushi-do was later moved to the Horikawa Waterway from its original location and still stands there today.
Naosite

In 1859, soon after the opening of the port of Yokohama, extreme nationalists killed Russian marines Roman Mophet and Ivan Sokoloff. The bakufu bought farmland-adjoining Zotokuin for their tomb. This grave is the oldest known in the Foreign Cemetery. … The former Zotokuin Cemetery area defined at that time is now the area near the Meyer M.Lury Memorial Gate (Motomachi Gate), where the oldest tombs can be found. [Approximately here.] After the Great Kanto Earthquake, the Zotokuin Temple was relocated to Heiraku (Yokohama).
Brief History of the Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery

Temple of Heaven, Beijing


Temple of Heaven, Pekin
c.1910

Street View.

UNESCO World Heritage listing

The Temple of Heaven, or more literally the Altar of Heaven is a temple of Chinese religion used for imperial ceremonies for five centuries. Its buildings are situated in their own large and tranquil park in southeast Beijing.

Construction of the Temple of Heaven began during the reign of Emperor Yongle was completed in 1420. It was used by all subsequent Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In imperial China, the emperor was regarded as the Son of Heaven, the intermediary between Earth and Heaven. To be seen to be showing respect to the source of his authority, in the form of sacrifices to heaven, was extremely important. The Temple of Heaven was built for these ceremonies.
Sacred Destinations

The temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, who was also responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century. Jiajing also built three other prominent temples in Beijing, the Temple of the Sun (日壇) in the east, the Temple of Earth (地壇) in the north, and the Temple of Moon (月壇) in the west. The Temple of Heaven was renovated in the 18th century under the Qianlong Emperor. By then, the state budget was insufficient, so this was the last large-scale renovation of the temple complex in imperial times.

The temple was occupied by the Anglo-French Alliance during the Second Opium War. In 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, the Eight Nation Alliance occupied the temple complex and turned it into the force’s temporary command in Beijing, which lasted for one year. The occupation desecrated the temple and resulted in serious damage to the building complex and the garden. Robberies of temple artifacts by the Alliance were also reported. With the downfall of the Qing, the temple complex was left un-managed. The neglect of the temple complex led to the collapse of several halls in the following years. In 1914, Yuan Shikai, then President of the Republic of China, performed a Ming prayer ceremony at the temple, as part of an effort to have himself declared Emperor of China. In 1918 the temple was turned into a park and for the first time open to the public.
Wikipedia

Qinian Hall (Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests) is most magnificent building in the Temple of Heaven. It is a wooden triple-gable circular pavilion which is 38 meters high with a three-level marble stone base. The ancient emperors prayed for good harvests here. There are 28 pillars propping up the hall. The inner 4 pillars are large, and stand for four seasons. The middle 12 pillars represent the twelve months. The outer 12 pillars indicate 12 periods of a day.

Huangqiongyu Hall (The Imperial Vault of Heaven) is smaller with only one circular gable and one level of marble stone base compared with Qinian Hall. It is the place to enshrine the worshiping tablets of Gods. Inside the hall are pillars and vault decorated by beautiful paintings and carvings. Outside is a circular wall – Echo Wall which can transmit sounds over long distances.

Huanqiu Altar (The Circular Mound Altar) is an empty circular platform with three levels of marble stones. Vivid dragons were carved on the stones to stand for the emperors. The number nine stands for power as well as the emperors in ancient China. You will surprisedly find the balusters and steps are either the sacred number nine or its multiples. In the ancient time, the emperors burn the offerings for Heaven in a stove on the platform.
China Discovery

Palace of Fontainebleau, France


FONTAINEBLEAU — Le Palais. Perspective du Chateau et de l’Etang
Published Levy & Neurdein Reunis, 1920s

Google Street View.
Official Website
Media Center for Art History (panorama views of rooms)
17th century plan

Used by the kings of France from the 12th century, the hunting lodge of Fontainebleau, standing in the heart of the vast forest of the Ile-de-France in the Seine-et-Marne region, was transformed, enlarged and embellished in the 16th century by King François I, who wanted to make it a “new Rome”. Surrounded by an immense park, the palace, to which notable Italian artists contributed, combines Renaissance and French artistic traditions. The need to expand and decorate this immense palace created the conditions for the survival of a true artistic centre.

The construction of the palace began in 1528. The modifications undertaken later by François I’s successors and carried out on different scales until the 19th century have left their imprint on the physionomy of the present complex, which today comprises five courtyards placed in an irregular manner and surrounded by an ensemble of buildings and gardens.
UNESCO World Heritage listing

PALAIS DE FONTAINEBLEAU
Pavillon Louis XV – Entrée du Musée Chinois et l’Étang aux Carpes
Louis XV Pavilion – Entrance to the Chinese Museum and the carps pond.
Published by Musées Nationaux

Read morePalace of Fontainebleau, France

St. Keyne Well, Liskeard, Cornwall

Liskeard, St. Keyne Well
published F. Frith & Co.
c.1910

Street View

Keyne was a 5th-century holy woman and hermitess who said to have traveled widely through what is now South Wales and Cornwall.

Keyne was one of the 12 daughters of the Welsh king King Brychan Brycheiniog (Bin what is now South Wales (A different source, De Situ Brecheniauc, says that he actually had 24 daughters, all of whom were saints). Although she was a great beauty and received many offers of marriage, Keyne took a vow of virginity and pursued a religious life (hence her Welsh name, Cain Wyry, or Keyne the Maiden).[5] Her vita reports that she traveled widely, and is said to have founded several oratories, including Llangeinor in mid Glamorgan, Llangunnor and Llangain in Dyfed, and Rockfield (Llangennon) in Runston, Gwent. Eventually she is said to have crossed the Severn into Cornwall, where she resided as a hermitess for many years. The village of St Keyne in Cornwall, is named after her, and is the site of a church and a holy well which also take her name.

The holy well of Saint Keyne is located near St. Keyne’s Church, and currently features a well building made of dressed granite. The original housing was built in the 16th century, but was rebuilt in the 1936 after the adjoining lane was widened. The plaque next to the well describes the spell which Saint Keyne cast upon the water of the well. The plaque reads:
“The legend of Saint Keyne Well. Saint Keyne was a princess who lived about 600 AD. She laid on the waters of this well a spell thus described by Richard Carew in 1602 AD—
‘The quality that man or wife
Whom chance or choice attaines
First of this sacred stream to drinke
Thereby the mastery gains.'”

Wikipedia.

Temple of Horus, Edfu, Fgypt


Temple Gates — Edfu
c.1910

This Ptolemaic temple, built between 237 and 57 BC, is one of the best-preserved ancient monuments in Egypt. Preserved by desert sand, which filled the place after the pagan cult was banned, the temple is dedicated to Horus, the avenging son of Isis and Osiris. With its roof intact, it is also one of the most atmospheric of ancient buildings.

Edfu was a settlement and cemetery site from around 3000 BC onward. It was the ‘home’ and cult centre of the falcon god Horus of Behdet (the ancient name for Edfu), although the Temple of Horus as it exists today is Ptolemaic. Started by Ptolemy III (246–221 BC) on 23 August 237 BC, on the site of an earlier and smaller New Kingdom structure, the sandstone temple was completed some 180 years later by Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos, Cleopatra VII’s father. In conception and design it follows the general plan, scale, ornamentation and traditions of Pharaonic architecture, right down to the Egyptian attire worn by Greek pharaohs depicted in the temple’s reliefs. Although it is much newer than cult temples at Luxor or Abydos, its excellent state of preservation helps to fill in many historical gaps; it is, in effect, a 2000-year-old example of an architectural style that was already archaic during Ptolemaic times.
Lonely Planet

Street View

Wikipedia

Planetware (interior photos)

Cathédrale Notre Dame, Paris


PARIS – Notre-Dame

Street View

Website


PARIS – Façade de Notre-Dame (XII siecle)
Dans la Tour de droite le Bourdon (poids 14 000 kg), au dessus du triple portail. Galerie des Rois de juda, puis au dessus la grande Rosace (9m60) et une galerie ajourèe d’ou s’elèvent les deux Tours (haut. 68m)
Postmarked 1921

Read moreCathédrale Notre Dame, Paris

Selby Abbey, Selby, Yorkshire


Tower & South Transept, Selby Abbey

Street View

It is one of the relatively few surviving abbey churches of the medieval period, and, although not a cathedral, is one of the biggest. It was founded by Benedict of Auxerre in 1069 and subsequently built by the de Lacy family.

On 31 May 1256, the Abbey was bestowed with the grant of a Mitre by Pope Alexander IV and from this date was a “Mitred Abbey”. This privilege fell in abeyance a number of times, but on 11 April 1308, Archbishop William Greenfield confirmed the grant, and Selby remained a “Mitred Abbey” until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Archbishop Walter Giffard visited the monastery in 1275 by commission, and several monks and the Abbot were charged with a list of faults including loose living, (many complaints referred to misconduct with married women). In 1279 Archbishop William de Wickwane made a visitation, and found fault with the Abbot as he did not observe the rule of St Benedict, was not singing mass, preaching or teaching, and seldom attending chapter. Things had not improved much in 1306 when Archbishop William Greenfield visited and similar visitations in later years resulted in similar findings.

The community rebuilt the choir in the early fourteenth century, but in 1340, a fire destroyed the Chapter House, Dormitory, Treasury and part of the church. The damage was repaired and the decorated windows in the south aisle of the Nave were installed. In 1380-1 there was the abbot and twenty-five monks. In 1393 Pope Boniface IX granted an indulgence to pilgrims who contributed to the conservation of the chapel of the Holy Cross in the Abbey.

The fifteenth century saw more alterations to the Abbey. The perpendicular windows in the North Transept and at the west end of the nave were added and the Sedilia in the Sanctuary was added. One of the final additions was the Lathom Chapel, dedicated to St Catherine, east of the North Transept, in 1465.
Wikipedia.

Website

Rokkaku-dō Temple, Kyoto


Rokkakudo, Kyoto —- 堂 角 六 都 京

Street View

The Rokkakudo (Chohoji) temple is said to have been founded by Shotoku Taishi (Prince Regent Shotoku). Successive generations of Ikenobo headmasters have served as head priests of this temple and the site is known as the “birthplace of ikebana.”
Ikenobo: Rokkakudo Temple

According to legend, when Prince Shōtoku was a child on Awaji Island he found a small Chinese chest that had floated ashore. Opening the lid, the prince found a gold image about 5.5 cm long of the Nyoirin Kannon, which he decided to keep as a sacred Buddhist image or amulet. He prayed to the Kannon to bring him success, promising Kannon that he would build Shitenno-ji Temple (in the area of present Osaka) if he was successful.

In 587, Prince Shotoku decided to build the great temple of Shitennoj-i in Osaka. Searching for building materials, the prince journeyed out from Osaka. It was a hot day and the prince stopped by a pond to cool down. He took off his clothes and his precious amulet in order to bathe in the pond. He placed his clothes and the Nyoirin Kannon on a nearby tree. After his swim, he went to put on his clothes and put the Nyoirin Kannon back in his pocket. Suddenly the Kannon became too heavy to pick up and the prince was unable to continue. So the prince decided to spend the night there and await the morning.

During the night he dreamed that Nyoirin Kannon appeared to him saying, “With this amulet I have given you, I have protected many generations but now I wish to remain in this place. You must build a six sided temple and enshrine me within this temple. Many people will come here and be healed.” So Prince Shotoku built the temple and enshrined Nyoirin Kannon within it.
Wikipedia