Nordborg Castle was, according to Saxo, founded by Svend Grathe under the name Alsborg. Hence, this can be dated to around 1150. Alsborg was built whilst the Wends still dominated the Danish coast; its location a few kilometers inland meant that the castle could not be attacked without warning, and the local population had a better chance of taking refuge there. The first written evidence of Alsborg is from the end of the 12th century. From this it is known that Bishop Valdemar of Slesvig was held prisoner at Alsborg between 1192 and 1197. After Sønderborg Castle was built, Alsborg was renamed Nordborg.
Nordborg was part of the King's properties in the Middle Ages, and was on several occasions a source of income for the king's widow. In 1571 Frederik II’s brother Hans the Younger inherited his mother Dorothea's possessions of Als and Sundeved including Nordborg. Hans was an enterprising man, who in the next 50 years constantly expanded and improved his properties. There was a series of building projects in and around Nordborg Castle. Upon Hans the Younger's death in 1622 his possessions were divided into separate dukedoms, including Nordborg, which went to his son Hans Adolf. Hans Adolf died only two years later and so the dukedom then went to Hans the Younger's other son Frederik.
Nordborg was occupied several times during the Swedish wars, first by the Swedes, then by the Brandenburgian and Polish troops and finally by Swedish troops until peace came in 1660. In 1665 fire broke out in the castle, and it burnt down. Duke Johan Bugislaw went bankrupt and forfeited his estate, which reverted next to August of Plön. In 1678 rebuilding of the castle began, and at this time the ducal coat-of-arms was placed over the castle entrance.
In 1730 Nordborg was taken back into crown possession. Nordborg had an estate of around 400 hectares, but in the following decades the land was turned into farms and in 1766 the castle was sold to a private owner and some of the buildings were demolished and sold for building materials.
In 1909 the castle was purchased by Nordborg town. It was the pro-German Mayor Klinkers' dream to build a high school, which would be a counterweight for the Danish high schools north of the border. The castle was thereafter restored by the architect Eugen Fink, and in 1910 the castle was leased out to the German high school association inNorthern Schleswig. After the reunification in 1920 the castle was bought by the merchant Johan Hansen. He established Nordborg Slot Foundation, which since 1922 has run a Danish boarding school at the castle.References:
The St Sophia's Cathedral was built between 1045-1050 inside the Novgorod Kremlin (fortress). It is one of the earliest stone structures of northern Russia. Its height is 38 m. Originally it was taller, for during the past nine centuries the lower part of the building became concealed by the two-metre thick cultural layer. The cathedral was built by Prince Vladimir, the son of Yaroslav the Wise, and until the 1130s this principal church of the city also served as the sepulchre of Novgorodian princes. For the Novgorodians, St Sophia became synonymous with their town, the symbol of civic power and independence.
The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.
The two-storied galleries extend along the building's southern, western and northern sides, with a stair-tower constructed at the north-eastern corner. The cathedral has three entrances - the southern, western and northern, of which the western was the main one intended for ceremonial processions. A gate standing at the entrance is known as the Sigtuna Gate (mid-12th century); according to legend, it was brought from the Swedish town of Sigtuna in 1187. The second name of the gate derives from the town of Magdeburg, where it was made. The two leaves are decorated with biblical and evangelical scenes in cast bronze relief. In the lower left corner there are portraits of the craftsmen who created this superb specimen of medieval Western European bronze-work. An inscription in Latin gives their names, Riquin and Weissmut. The small central figure - judging from an inscription in Slavonic - is a representation of the Russian master craftsman Avraam, who assembled the gate.
There is yet another bronze gate in the cathedral, called the Korsun Gate. Made in the 11th century in Chersonesos, Byzantium, it leads from the southern gallery into the Nativity Side-Chapel. Legend has it that the gate was handed over to Novgorod as a gift of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 - 1054).
The interior of the cathedral is as majestic as its exterior. It is divided by huge piers into five aisles, three of which end in altar apses. In the south-western corner, inside the tower, there is a wide spiral in relatively small, modest buildings of the 12th - 16th centuries.