The Protestant Church of Peace (Friedenskirche) is situated in the palace grounds of Sanssouci Park in Potsdam. The church was built according to the wishes and with the close involvement of the artistically gifted King Frederick William IV and designed by the court architect, Ludwig Persius. After Persius' death in 1845, the architect Friedrich August Stüler was charged with continuing his work. Building included work by Ferdinand von Arnim and Ludwig Ferdinand Hesse also. The church is located in the area covered by the UNESCO World Heritage Site Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin.
The cornerstone of the churchhouse was laid on April 14, 1845. The building was dedicated on September 24, 1848, though construction continued until 1854. The structure resembles a High Medieval Italian monastery. The Kaiser Friedrich Mausoleum was added to the north side between 1888 and 1890. The plans were drawn up by Julius Carl Raschdorff, who also designed the Berlin Cathedral from 1893 to 1905, in the style of the Baroque-influenced Italian High Renaissance. The 17th century Chapel of the Holy Tomb in Innichen, South Tyrol, Italy, serves as an archetype for the Mausoleum, which in turn was based on the chapel on Jerusalem's Calvary Hill. The mausoleum is a domed structure with an oval outline and an attached rectangular altar room. The inside contains a surrounding gallery and the domed roof, supported by two black columns, one on top of the other, which run around the edge. A golden mosaic on the inside of the roof shows alternating angels and palm trees.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.