Trnava is also referred to as the Slovak Rome due its architectural gems and sacral monuments. As early as in the Middle Ages, Trnava was an important centre of Gothic religious and lay architecture – St. Nicolas’s Church, St. Helen’s Church and several church monastery complexes (Clarist, Franciscan and Dominican) were built in this period. The document issued by King Belo IV in 1238, which contained privileges of the free royal borough for Trnava as the first Slovak town, is much more important in respect. Only several towns of central Europe can boast such large section of castle walls as that surviving in the eastern and western parts of the town core. For their high level of preservation the walls are unique and significant monuments of the kind in terms of Europe. Fortifications are from the 13th to 16th centuries.
The dominant of the square and in fact of the town, is the town tower. Master Jacob built it in 1574 on Gothic foundations and its view terrace provides a perfect view of Trnava and its environs.
The Early Baroque building of national significance, university church of St. John the Baptist is one of the most valuable historical monuments of Trnava. The monumental wooden main altar from 1640 dominates in its interior. Additional buildings including the college, grammar school, university, seminars and refectories accompany the university church.
Another Gothic monument, St. Nicholas Basilica, parish church stands on the square Námestie Sv. Mikuláša on the site of an older Romanesque church from the 14th century. It was a cathedral church of the Esztergom Archbishop in the years 1543-1820. Trnava is the first Slovak metropolitan seat of archbishop since 1978.
The District hospital was built 1824. The building of the theatre started in May 1831 and the first performance was played at Christmas. Both of the Trnava synagogues, historical structures with oriental motifs, date back to the 19th century. The Synagogue Status Quo Ante currently houses the Jána Koniareka art gallery.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.