Stokkemarke Church dates from the mid-1200s. It was built in the Romanesque style with later additions in the Gothic period. The church was dedicated to St. Clement in 1396 although it was later associated with St. George, probably as a result of a panel from St Jørgens Hospital in Bregerup which hung in the church until 1878. A reliquary found in the high altar was a gift from Bishop Gisike of Odense (1286–1300), possibly a gift for the reconsecration of the altar on the completion of the apse which is just slightly older than the chancel. From the 14th century, the church was the property of the Crown but from the beginning of the 16th century, it was administered by Engelborg Manor on Nakskov Fjord. In 1687, it was transferred to the Bishop of Odense and later to Knuthenborg until it gained independence in 1912.
The church consists of a Late Romanesque chancel and nave and an apse, sacristy, porch and tower which were added during the Gothic period. It is built mainly of red brick with some fieldstone and with limestone trimmings. The chancel has corner lesenes and saw-tooth decorations. Both the north door and the former south door are now bricked up but traces of the original round Romanesque arches can still be seen. The tower is unusually large and almost as wide as the nave. The tower room has a pointed arch and a star-shaped vault. There is a small spire with a copper dome.
The chancel has a pointed arch and a vaulted Gothic ceiling in six segments. The original Romanesque windows in the nave were first converted into large Gothic windows with pointed arches before being replaced by today's smaller more modern windows which probably date from 1815. The cross on the altar dates from the end of the 15th century and was originally on the chancel arch. The Renaissance pulpit has four shell-shaped niches with figures of the Evangelists flanked by pilasters and covered with pointed arches.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.