St.John's church was dedicated on August 27, 1900 after the long history before. The first wooden church was built in 1461, the next, also made of wood, was built in 1530 and renovated in 1567. The masonry church was built in 1614-1615 and financed by Wilhelm Duke.
The fifth church in Saldus was built in 1737 on the hill where the present church stands. It was reconstructed in 1825. In 1898 the old church was torn down. Architect Wilhelm Neumann designed the church. Construction took place from 1898 to 1899 and cost 19,700 rubles.The completed church was named in honor of St. John.
The church was reconstructed in 1938 for a sum of 15,000 lats. The artist Ansis Bērziņš led the renovation of the interior and furnishings. The retreating German army bombed the church tower in 1944. The roof was also damaged. A temporary wooden tower was built in 1945-1946.
Demolition of the temporary tower began on June 13, 1981, and the construction of the new tower began ten days later. Saldus architect Edgars Krūmiņš designed the tower and V. Krivans made the rooster at the top of the spire. The renovated church was dedicated on August 1, 1982. The underground tombs were opened and researched during a renovation in 1995, when heated flooring was installed. The church facade was renovated in 2006.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.