Gjorslev is a cruciform medieval castle, originally owned by the Bishop of Roskilde. It is considered one of the most well-preserved examples of Gothic secular architecture in Denmark. Gjorslev was built in about 1400 by Peder Jensen Lodehat, Bishop of Roskilde. It remained in the possession of the Roskilde bishops until the Reformation which led to its confiscation in 1637. It was sold in 1540 and was then in the possession of changing owners until 1678 when it came under the Crown once again. It was then owned by the Lindencrone family from 1763 to 1791, from 1793 to 1923 by the Scavenius family, and from 1925 and until the present day it has been in the possession of the Tesdorpf family.
Gjorslev is surrounded by moats and built to a cruciform design in the Gothic style. The building materials are a combination of local limestone from the Cliffs of Stevns and large bricks (Danish 'monk stones'). The central tower is just under 30 m tall and has seven storeys. The south arm of the cross is slightly longer than the other three. A lower north wing was added in 1638. Access to the main building was originally through the celler from an entrance below the bishop's chapel which was located on the east side of the southern cross arm. From the vaulted celler below the tower, a flight of stairs led to the domed hall in its ground floor. This arrangement was altered by Ewert Janssen between 1665 and 1676. The chapel was demolished and the entrance moved to the eastern cross arm which was also given a new facade and an internal staircase in the Baroque style.
The design of the roof was adapted in 1748 when the original crow-stepped gable with blank arches were replaced by hipped roofs and a pyramidical roof on the tower. The last time the building was altered was in 1843 when a long south wing was added. The castle stands at the end of a street known as 'Broad Street' which is lined by red timbered farm buildings from 1713.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.