St Bodil's Church (Sankt Bodil Kirke) was built around 1200. It was dedicated to the English saint Botulf but by 1530 it had mistakenly become known by the woman's name "Bodil" although there has never been a Saint Bodil. As a result, the parish is called Bodilsker. The church first belonged to the Archbishopric of Lund, then came under the Danish crown at the time of the Reformation. In the 19th century, it became fully independent.
The church consists of an apse, chancel and nave from the Romanesque period, slightly more recent west tower and a Late-Gothic porch for the south door. Foundations unearthed beside the tower indicate that it had originally been planned as a larger addition. There are two rounded arches giving access from the nave to the base of the tower. The large north transept was added in 1911. Although some local sandstone and fieldstone has been used, the predominant building material is limestone which in particular has been used for the door and window frames. The apse ceiling consists of a half-dome vault. There were only three windows in the original building, one in the apse which was restored in 1874 and one on each side of the nave. New windows have since been added. Both the Romanesque portals have been almost fully preserved. The stonework on the south door is particularly well executed.
The bell tower, first documented in 1624, is topped by a half-timbered section and originally served as an entrance portal. The main structure dates from around 1600. Minor repairs were carried out in the 18th century.
Close to the entrance, the former Romanesque font, made of Gotland limestone, is similar to those in Ny Kirke and Vestermarie Church but better proportioned. The new granite font stands to the left of the chancel arch. Above the old font is part of the former Renaissance altarpiece, a painting of Christ on the road to Emmaus by Jørgen Roed. The two candlesticks on the main altar date from the mid 16th century. The carved oak pulpit from c. 1600 has four panels depicting the evangelists and their symbols.References:
Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.
Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.
A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.
The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.
The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.
In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.
In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.