Egmond Abbey or St. Adalbert's Abbey was a Benedictine monastery founded in 920-925 and destroyed in the Reformation, it was re-founded in 1935 as the present Sint-Adelbertabdij, under the Diocese of Haarlem. The Benedictine abbey was founded by Dirk I, Count of Holland. It was a nunnery that, according to local tradition, had been there since Saints Adalbert and Willibrord landed in 760. In about 950 work began on a stone church to replace by the wooden one, as a gift from Dirk II, Count of Holland, and his wife Hildegard, to house the relics of Saint Adalbert. The consecration of the new church apparently took place in or shortly after 975, and is recorded in the Egmond Gospels, presented to the abbey by Dirk. At the same time a community of Benedictine monks from Ghent replaced the nuns, who under their abbess Erlinde, daughter of Count Dirk, were transferred to a newly established nunnery, Bennebroek Abbey.
Egmond was the oldest monastery of the Holland region. Dirk I, the founder, was buried there, as were many subsequent counts of Holland and members of their families, including Dirk II, Arnulf, Count of Holland, Dirk III, Floris I, Dirk V, and Floris II.
The Count Lamoral, owner of the nearby castle, was beheaded in 1568, and this started the Dutch Revolt. Shortly afterwards, in 1573, the abbey was dissolved and laid waste just before the siege of Alkmaar on the orders of Diederik Sonoy to prevent it being used by the Spanish. The abbey's income was diverted by the stadtholder to the financing of his educational project, the newly formed Leiden University.
In 1933 a new Benedictine community, the Sint-Adelbertabdij, was founded on the site of the former Egmond Abbey, and was again dedicated to Saint Adalbert. The first buildings, designed by A.J.Kropholler were constructed in 1935, and the community was repopulated with monks (from the Benedictine abbey in Oosterhout). Buildings were refurbished and extended in the late 1940s and early 1950s; the monastery was elevated to an abbey in 1950. In 1984 the relics of Saint Adalbert were returned here, having been kept safe in Haarlem since the destruction of the previous monastery in the 16th century, and are enshrined beneath the altar.
Many artefacts from the old abbey have been recovered in the years since the 'beeldenstorm' of 1568, such as the altarpiece of 1530, and the Egmond Tympanum, a 12th-century tympanum originally set over the portal of the west front of the abbey church, which since 1842 has been preserved in the Rijksmuseum. At first it was assumed that all the abbey's possessions had been burned, but in fact they had been sold by the Protestant leader who dissolved the abbey, Diederik Sonoy, before the buildings were destroyed. In recent decades the current monastery has been able to recover many lost relics, or at least information about them. The old abbey had been of great importance to artists, and much of that art has survived, against all odds.
Moreover, in the intervening period from 1568 until the remaining ruins were finally demolished in about 1800, the abbey and the associated castle ruins served as an inspiration in its damaged state to many artists who visited Bergen, Schoorl or Egmond to paint the ruins, among them Jacob van Ruisdael in 1655-60.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.