Sebber Priory was established between 1250 and 1268 as a house for Benedictine nuns. The priory was dedicated to St. Lawrence. Its founding details are uncertain; it may have begun as an Augustinian house.
One question about Sebber Priory has always been why it was located on the coast in such an isolated location. It appears that Sebber was already a village in Viking times, a trading place for ships plying the Limfjord between the North Sea and the Baltic. Recent research by the Aalborg History Museum has discovered no fewer than three churches on or around St Jørgens Bjerg: two stave churches and a stone one. Over 300 Viking age graves were found in one of the largest Viking cemeteries found to date on the same ground as the priory was built. It seems that Sebber has been historically a religious place, perhaps even in pre-Christian times. If locals were looking for a sacred spot, what better choice on Sebbersund than where the ancestors both pagan and Christian had worshipped.
The priory was built in Gothic style of red brick, the most common building material of the time. Sebber was built to house approximately 12 Benedictine nuns in a relatively isolated place where they could practice a contemplative life without interference from the outside world.
The Reformation brought an end to Sebber Priory when Christian III and the State Council adopted the Lutheran Ordinances, establishing Lutheranism as the state church in October 1536. The abbey and its estate reverted to the crown and was then given over to Christian Friis, a noble from Aalborg. The abbey buildings became an estate farm owned by noblemanOluf Brockenhus. Eventually the priory buildings were torn down, but the priory church became the local parish church.
What makes Sebber church so interesting is that it is the main building of the medieval priory much as it was in the Middle Ages. It is perhaps the best preserved in all of Jutland. The baptismal font and crucifix date from the days when it was still a priory church.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.