Tvilum Priory, the latest of the Augustinian monasteries in Denmark, was founded between 1246 and 1249 by Bishop Gunner of Ribe, who had hoped to establish the Augustinians in the cathedral chapter at Ribe, but in vain. After he resigned his bishopric in 1246, he donated all his worldly goods to the monastery at Tvilum, while he himself became aFranciscan friar. The Bishop of Aarhus at about the same time gifted the income of the churches of Gjern and the Ladegård to provide for them. The priory was built on the east bank of the Guden River, at that time an important transportation corridor in central Jutland.
The monastery was constructed as a two-storey rectangular building consisting of four ranges, of which the church formed the north range. The others included the dormitory, hospital, chapter house, storage, and space for the lay brothers who assisted with the day to day work of the monastery. The church was planned as a flat-roofed Romanesquestructure but during construction more modern Gothic vaulting was added. It was built out of hand made bricks. In 1470 the church at Ladegård was demolished, after which the priory church has served also as a parish church up to the present day.
An interesting obligation of the monastery, perhaps in return for royal beneficence, was to provide fresh horses and hounds for royal hunts. The burden became so great that the prior wrote to Christoffer I to complain about the cost of providing the services. The arms of King Valdemar Atterdag were painted on the walls of the church in about 1350 and can still be seen there.
Over time the monastery came into possession of many farms and properties in the area as families donated land in memory of deceased family members, or from the desire to help the church, or as bequests in wills.
The Reformation in Denmark swept Catholic teaching and practice aside as early as 1527, but these far-reaching changes did not reach the isolated hinterlands where Tvilum lay until sometime in 1536, when the crown seized all monastic houses and property in Denmark. Tradition says that the Augustinian canons, who were ordained priests, then becameLutheran pastors. All of the monastery holdings were eventually transferred to Skanderborg Castle, which used the farm income to support the expansion and operations of the castle. The monastic buildings were demolished relatively quickly, but the priory church survived because it was the parish church in a very small town. The pre-Reformation crucifix from the monastery was preserved, as was the fine altarpiece carved in the late 15th century.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.