Rjukan–Notodden Industrial Heritage Site is created to protect the industrial landscape around Lake Heddalsvatnet. The landscape is centered around the plant built by the Norsk Hydro to produce fertilizer from atmospheric nitrogen. The complex also includes hydroelectric power plants, transport systems, including railways, transmission lines and factories, and workers' accomodation and social institutions in the towns of Notodden and Rjukan.
In the 1900s, Norway experienced rapid industrial development through the availability of cheap hydroelectric power. Kristian Birkeland developed a method to extract nitrogen from the air, which, after an initial trial in Notodden in 1907, looked superior to existing technologies. Nitrogen was needed to produce fertilizers. Norsk Hydro was founded in 1905, and industrial development began in the Eastern Telemark region, previously an underdeveloped and underpopulated agricultural area. To produce fertilizers, it was essential to build factories, power stations, infrastructure for workers, as well as facilities for exporting the production. The fertilizers, artificial salpetre, eventually surpasses the Chilean naturally mined salpeter, at the time the most widely used fertilizer.
At the beginning of construction, in 1907, the power was provided by the Svelgfoss Hydroelectric Power Station, which at the time was the largest in Europe and the second larges at the world. The station is still in operation. Subsequently, two more station were built. Vemork, built on a waterfall near Rjukan, in 1911 was the largest power station in the world. A plant producing heavy water and most famous for the 1943 sabotage events (Operation Gunnerside) was built nearby. The original building of the station has been destroyed, but the station is in operation. Another power plant, Såheim Hydroelectric Power Station, started operation in Rjukan in 1915. The building survived but the station operates elsewhere.
One of the 36 towers of the salpetre factory's towerhouse, which was in operation between 1911 and the 1980s, has been conserved and is protected as a cultural monument.
In 1925, 80% of all apartments in Rjukan (1230 in total) were controlled by the Norsk Hydro. red brick apartment buildings dominated, others were houses with individual gardens.
The site was placed on the tentative World Heritage list on 26 November 2011 together with the Odda–Tyssedal Industrial Heritage Site. In 2015 it was placed on the World Heritage list.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.