Katarínka was a Franciscan monastery and church dating back to the early 17th century, located deep in the forests of the Little Carpathian Mountains in western Slovakia. The church was dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria, and that is where the nickname of the place Katarínka comes from.
First Gothic chapel was made of stone on the site in the late 1400s. The monastery was established in 1618 when count Krištof Erdödy, the domain owner, issued the foundation document establishing a Franciscan monastery on this site. In 1645 St Catherine’s monastery was plundered and set on fire during an armed rebellion of the Hungarian nobility. In 1663 monastery was attacked again first by the Turks, later on by emperor’s army. The soldiers killed noblemen who were seeking refuge from persecution at St Catherine’s. In 1683 another raid carried out on the monastery by the troops of Imrich Tököly.
In 1701 Juraj and Krištof II Erdödi issued a deed of gift of 500 ducats for the church’s maintenance. In the 18th century numerous donors also gave large gifts to the monastery. Families of noble origin built their crypts on this site (e.g.Erdödi, Apponyi, Labšanskí). In 1786 Joseph II Emperor’s decree abolished St Catherine’s monastery as “useless”, together with 738 monasteries in the empire, which did not take care of the poor or educate the youth and in 1787 it was transferred to state control. Valuable equipment and inventory were step by step moved to surrounding churches and monasteries, many of these were spontaneously stolen or lost forever.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.