While the site of the Dudelange castle ruins bears traces of Gallo-Roman structures, the first evidence of a castle in the area is in Dudelange itself where a castle belonging to the Lords of Gymnich was destroyed around 1400 by Robert de Bar. At the beginning of the 15th century, work began on building a fortified castle which was completed early in the 16th century with Gothic and Renaissance influences. The finely cut stones and sculptures show how much the lords of Gynmich, Boulay, Neufchâtel, Hunolstein and Isembourg invested in their luxurious fortress. However from 1542 the castle was taken and retaken when Francis I and Henry II of France were at war with Emperor Charles V. In 1552, the castle was destroyed and deprived of any strategic value. Thereafter the ruins were used as a quarry for the surrounding villages.
Since the 1970s, the Amis de l’Histoire de Dudelange et du Mont Saint-Jean (Friends of the History of Dudelange and Mont St. Jean) have explored the ruins, discovering the foundations of several towers, the palace, living quarters, stables and outhouses. Three wells and a reservoir were partly unearthed. The ditches and the entrance to the castle can still be seen.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.