Pettingen Castle is one of the best preserved fortified castles in the country. In the 10th century, the fortress was known as Pittigero Mazini but received the name of Pettingen in the 13th century. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the Lords of Pettingen were important members of Luxembourg society. They were present at Ermesinde's wedding, at the coronation of Henri IV and at the signing of John the Blind's marriage contract.
At the beginning of the 14th century, Arnold of Pettingen married Marguerite of Rousy, the great grand-daughter of Ermisinde. He had a son, Arnold the Young, whose daughter Irmengard, by marrying Jean de Créhange, associated the Lords of Pettingen with his renowned family. Their grandson, also called Jean, fought for René, the Duke of Lorraine in the war against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy. In revenge, Charles completely destroyed the Castle of Pettingen whose treasures were confiscated by the Governor of Luxembourg in 1494. However, as a result of a decree made at the Great Council of Mechelen in 1503, half of the treasures were returned and the castle was reconstructed in its present form. The four corner towers were added in 1571. In 1684, Louis XIV's troops bombarded the castle, leaving it as it stands today. The ruins, which belonged to the house of Créhange, were inherited by the Comtes de Lapérouse whose descendents sold it to the Duke of Arenberg in 1837. In 1910, his descendent, the Prince of Arenberg, removed everything of value from the castle. In 1920, the southern wall collapsed.
In 1947, the castle was acquired by the State of Luxembourg. Consolidation work was carried out on the walls and on the castle's two towers in 1950. The ruins are open to the public. The ramparts with two round towers on the north-eastern side still stand. The site forms a 30 by 30 metre square surrounded by a former moat 15 metres wide fed by the Weillerbach which flowed into the River Alzette.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.