The Château de Kérouzéré is a Breton manor castle built in granite in the first half of the 15th century for Jean and Yves de Kérouzéré, seneschal of Morlaix, and followers of the dukes of Brittany. Visible from the sea, Kérouzéré was dangerously exposed and was particularly vulnerable to English attacks. As such the duke permitted him to erect a single tower of more than twenty-four feet in width with crenellations and ditches. This construction caused a major controversy with the neighboring seigneur of Kermorvan. As a result, from 1466 the building was always unfinished and, in 1468, François II had to grant a second authorization for its completion. The original tower is the part of the manor-house located to the west of the current entry (the window of the chapel sits above it).
It was besieged in 1590 during the French Wars of Religion and seriously damaged as the southeast tower was destroyed. It was rebuilt around 1600. There are four superimposed halls: the lowest hall is on the right of the entry and the upper-hall, arranged in the roof, gives access to the covered wall-walk. The kitchen, the common rooms and the private quarters, above, are directed towards the west. There were originally four corner towers; the moat, of which vestiges remained until the last century, has been filled in. The interior of the manor-house still has some 17th century wall paintings. The roof of the northwest tower was restored at the end of the 19th century.
Today visitors to the castle can still see the armoury, chapel, stairs, wall-walk and the watchman's tower with a view over the sea. There is also a 15th-century dovecote still standing on the grounds.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.