The Church of the Holy Ghost (Helligåndskirken) is one of the Copenhagen's oldest churches. The first abbey in Copenhagen was a Franciscan monastery founded in 1238, just 12 years after the death of Francis of Assisi. Prior to that, Archbishop Eskil had founded two Cistercian monasteries, Esrom Abbey and Herrevad Abbey. Typically for the order, they had been founded at more remote locations in Northern Zealand and Skåneland. At first, the new institution in Copenhagen was more of a hostal and workshop for travelling monks than a monastery proper. It was expanded on a number of occasions and remained the only monastery and a central part of the city's life for the next 250 years.
In 1296, a hospital was built by Roskilde Bishop Johannes Krag who was member of the powerful Krag-Hvide noble family. Johannes Krag's strict rule over the city had brought its population to an uprising. They attempted to storm Bishop's Palace at Slotsholmen and as part of a settlement, Krag agreed to build what was known as a House of the Holy Ghost. Such houses were facilities which cared for the sick, the poor and the old, more refuges for the weak and disabled than hospitals in the modern sense of the word.
The construction of the new building was to be paid for by the bishop and the citizens in equal shares. For its support, an annual ground rent was assessed all properties. Over the years, the hospital also received its own endowments, mainly of property, which provided income for its support. Next to the hospital a small church was built although it is not known exactly when it was added to the complex.
In 1469, King Christian I transformed the hospital into an abbey. Later, on his journey to Rome in 1474, Pope Sixtus IV acknowledged it as an institution under the Order of the Holy Ghost, with Santo Spirito in Rome as inspiration and mother church.
The abbey consisted of four wings around a courtyard. Of these the present-day church has evolved from the south wing while the House of the Holy Ghost is the former west wing. Originally the church did not have a tower. Construction of a tower was commenced in 1520 but before long the Reformation brought things to a standstill and in 1530 the abbey was decommissioned.
After the reformation the church was converted into a parish church. At the initiative of Christoffer Valkendorff, at that time Governor of Copenhagen, work on the tower was resumed in 1582. Brickwork was continued in another bond, making the transition between the old and the new part of the tower easily detectable. The tower was topped by a spire mounted in August 1594.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.