Trinity Church (Heliga Trefaldighetskyrkan) was built between 1617 and 1628 by Christian IV of Denmark. He had founded the city of Kristianstad in 1614 at a time when Scania was part of the Kingdom of Denmark. The church's large size and style reveal the king's ambitions for his new city.
Designed by the Flemish-Danish architect, Lorenz van Steenwinckel, the grandiose building is widely considered by many to be Scandinavia's finest Renaissance church. Its extensive nave is able to accommodate congregations of up to 1,400. Like many Danish churches of the times, it is built of red brick. But this church is decorated with many sandstone statues and ornaments, including several monograms of Christian IV, testifying to his involvement.
The well-preserved interior is decked with star-shaped cross vaults, supported by pillars of granite. Trinity Church has been little altered since it was built. The main addition is its 59-meter-tall tower constructed in 1865. The church is pleasantly and abundantly illuminated thanks to its 26 tall windows. The entrance through the western tower opens into a six-bay nave, with wide aisles, terminating in a projecting eastern sanctuary. The vaults are covered with a cross-gabled roof, with large ornamented gables on the north and south sides.
The pulpit, which is sculpted in Belgian and Italian marble, shows Christ and the four evangelists. The impressive canopy hanging above the pulpit weighs almost a ton. The Baroque organ case by German-born Johan Lorentz from 1630 is still equipped with the original pipes although the works themselves have been replaced. It is used both for concerts and church services. The delicately carved benches are as old as the church itself.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.