Niasvizh Catholic Corpus Christi church was built in 1587–1593 according to the design of the Italian architect Giovanni Maria Bernardoni at sponsorship of Mikołaj Krzysztof Radziwiłł. The Jesuit church in Niasvizh was the first construction in Baroque in the whole territory of Rzecz Pospolita.
The temple interior is richly decorated with paintings. The frescoes were performed in 1750-1760s with participation of the artist Ksawery Dominik Heski (restored in 1900–1902). The frescoes embrace 40 individual compositions depicting Saints, allegorical scenes and biblical stories. The fresco compositions include cartouches with the Bible stanze and references. There is K.D. Gesski’s picture 'The Lord's Supper' (1753) in the main shrine. In addition to the paintings, the church interior contains a lot of plastic images, i.e. bás-reliefs and bust gravestones of the 17th – 19th centuries, marble altars and monuments.
There is a choir with an organ above the temple entrance. An entrance into the family crypt – a burial vault of the Radziwills – is located next to the bás-relief under the altar of Christ. There are over seventy burials of the mighty dynasty in the semi-basement.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.