Güstrow Cathedral is a Brick Gothic Lutheran cathedral initially completed in 1335. It is the oldest extant building in Barlachstadt Güstrow. The church was originally dedicated by the Bishop of Kammin. The cathedral's charter was removed in 1552, and the cathedral fell into disuse and was used to house vehicles for 12 years. In 1568 it began to be used as an evangelical palace chapel and resting place for Güstrow's aristocratic house, maintaining this honour until 1695.
The Güstrow Cathedral attests to the influence of several different styles: began as a Romenesque building it was completed as a Brick Gothic site. The cathedral is home to a multitude of artistic treasures spanning a historical period lasting from the Late Romantic epoch through to the Early Modern period. Amongst the most well-known are a Late Gothic winged altar made by Hinrik Bornemann, a monument to Duke Ulrich designed by Phillip Brandin and an apostle figure conceptualised by Ernst Barlach, known as 'the Waverer'. The latter was dedicated to the war in 1927; was denounced as 'degenerate art' in 1937 and was melted military for use during the Second World War. In 1953, the 'Waverer' was remolded, and was replaced in the cathedral, hanging above a 18th century cast-iron baptism font.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.