Nowe is a small town beautifully situated on the high bank of the Vistula River. On the steep bank slope, at the turn of the 12th and 13th century stood a mighty fortress, which, along with castles in Stargard and Świecie used to monitor ship traffic on the Vistula. The importance of the castle in Nowe emphasized the fact that it was a residence of Castellan duke Świętopełek II.
According to the chronicles, during the conquest of Gdańsk Pomerania, Teutonic Knights destroyed the city of Gdańsk, Tczew and Nowe. At this time the castle of Nowe was officiated by the Castellan Duke, while the town itself was the private property of Piotr Święca. Then, the Teutonic Knights offered to repurchase the rights to Nowe and the whole district, For the price of 1,200 grzywien (medieval coins weighing less than 200 grams of silver) Piotr Święca sold the town, where he had ruled for 12 years.
After the year 1308, Nowe was destroyed and depopulated. Not until 1350 that the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, Heindrich Düssemer von Arffenberg, gave the town a new location privilege. The construction of the castle in Nowe started probably about mid-14th century by the Teutonic Knights at the place of castellan fortress. It was one of the smallest Teutonic castles in Pomerania. As it consisted of a three storey residential building, perimeter wall combined to the town's fortified walls. Probably the castle's separate walls fenced off the city, more likely preceded by a moat. The lowest tier was allocated to utility rooms. The rooms on the first floor were occupied by the religious brother holding the custody of the castle,placed next to the dining hall, chapel and a guests room. The highest tier was allocated to the granaries and warehouses.
Nowe returned to Poland in 1466. The 16th century was a time of prosperity for the town, which profited from its location on a commercial trail along the Vistula river. Settled here were Dutch Mennonites, who fled to Poland from religious persecution. During the 17th century Swedish wars the town was badly destroyed and deserted.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.