Dobbertin Abbey is a former Benedictine monastery of monks, afterwards housed a community of nuns, and later still a women's collegiate foundation. The abbey was founded during the Christianisation of Germany in about 1220 by Prince Heinrich Borwin II of Mecklenburg and was the first field monastery in Mecklenburg. The founder gave it to the Benedictines for a community of monks. 15 years later it was turned into a Benedictine nunnery.
In 1549 the Landtag at Sagsdorf Bridge near Sternberg resolved to introduce the Lutheran Reformation into Mecklenburg. Despite violent resistance the abbey was secularised and in 1572 converted into a Lutheran collegiate foundation for noblewomen.
In the middle of the 19th century the church was restored by Georg Adolf Demmler to plans by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The work was completed in 1857.
In 1918 the abbey premises became the property of the state and were converted into a youth hostel. After World War II Soviet troops were stationed here, and destroyed much of historical interest.
From 1947 to 1991 the buildings were used as an old people's residential and care home. Then they were transferred to the responsibility of the charitable organisation of the German Evangelical Church, who set up a care home for the severely physically handicapped.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.