The history of the Gołuchów castle goes back to the Middle Ages and its first known owner was ¯egota of Gołuchów (1263-1282). A defensive fort stood here in the first half of the 15th century, probably where the castle stands today. The terrain definitely provides for adequate defence. It overlooks the Trzemsza River from the west and is surrounded by a moat and a secure embankment.
The Gołuchów estates became the property of the Leszczyñski family in 1507. The work on the residence, which had progressed in stages from the early 16th century, was completed between 1600 and 1628. This was now one of the most magnificent renaissance castles in Poland. A graphic recreation of its appearance back then was made possible by 18th-century surveys and inventory measurements from 1850.
The castle consisted of a tower house with four octagonal towers in the corners, closing the premises from the north. The basement and three keeps (reconstructed during the 19th century) have been preserved. It may have been erected prior to 1507. There used to be another building on the southern side. The two wings, which centred around a small interior courtyard with an arcaded cloister, were joined by built-on porches. The sandstone door frames, main entrance portal and marble and stone chimney housings have survived from those days. There are accounts of richly carved doors, decorated floors and polychromed and carved ceilings.
The estate changed hands frequently from the end of the 17th century until the middle of the 19th. Jan Działyński, son of the owner of Kórnik, purchased Gołuchów in 1853 and set about improving the economy of Gołuchów and beautifying the park in front of the castle. Only necessary repairs were made to the residence itself.
The plans to restore the castle were worked out by the leading French architect and conservator Eugène Viollet-le-Duc in the 19th century. Work began on the castle in 1876 and continued for 10 years.
The castle has been part of the National Museum in Poznañ since 1952. The expansive 150 ha park, together with the remaining buildings, was acquired by the State Forests National Forest Holding, which opened a Forest Culture Centre here in 1974. The entire complex is now open to the public.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.