The village church of Landow built around the year 1312. It was built as a Wegekirche, a church which is designed such that the location of the priest and congregation gives the impression that they are on their way to the Lord, facing the Christ, usually in the symbolic form of a cross or painting.
In 2004, dendrochronological research of the oak timber-framing was carried out. This demonstrated that the church is one of the oldest on the island of Rügen and may be the oldest timber-framed church building in North Germany and the entire southeast Baltic Sea region.
The church was sited on an old salt and herring trading route. It was first mentioned in the records when reference was made to a priest at Landow dating to the year 1333. In 1369 a Kaland Brotherhood was mentioned, something which was important for churches in the Middle Ages.
The original timber-framed of the building was bricked in around 1542. The interior was decorated in the baroque style in the 18th century. The altar, font, pulpit and painted wooden ceiling of the church all came from the workshop of the most important Pomeranian sculptor of the baroque style, Elias Kessler from the town of Stralsund. The vestry attached to the church later became a crypt chapel for the family of the church patrons. After 1945, the coffins were removed from the crypt chapel and buried in the cemetery.
During the GDR period, major repairs were carried out, most recently in 1959 on the church roof. In the late 1960s, the continued preservation of the church building became an issue. The consistory of the Evangelical Church of Greifswald felt in 1970 that it was no longer in a position to fund the preservation of the isolated church building. In 1982 the church was assessed as in danger of collapse and, in the 1980s, it was also removed from the county monument list.
The cemetery and its graves, some of which are very old, are also worth seeing.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.