Nothing remains of the preceding structure of Bobbin Church (mentioned in 1250, originally owned by the Bergen monastery). The present church is an imposing, fieldstone structure with shaped brick elements plastered so as to leave the underlying surface visible. Brick is used for the corners of the building, gables, buttresses, vaults, and all ornamentation. The nave, choir, and sacristy were built in about 1400. It has a rectangular nave with a flat wooden ceiling, and a retracted, rib-vaulted choir. The two square choir bays have been repeated in enlarged form in the nave. The interior is whitewashed and in 1955 was painted in simple form. Floors are of limestone tiles. The choir is a step higher than the nave. The windows were enlarged, probably in the Middle Ages. The “Likhus” on the south side of the choir was built in the 17th century, and was extended in the 17th century to provide access to the patron’s box. The west tower was built in about 1500 of brick with a sprinkling of fieldstone (the upper part still later). Steep pavilion roof with a weathervane from 1657.
Oldest furnishings and accessories: Gotland limestone font from about 1300 (presumably from the preceding church). Cuppa wall decorated with twelve blind ogee-arches. Worth noting: the iron-grilled aumbry inserted in the south wall of the sacristy (from about 1400), decorated with Gothic tempera painting and carving, beside the altar sacrament house with iron-studded wooden door under a canopy and quatrefoil. Other furnishings: pulpit from 1622 (late Renaissance), high altar with choir screen (1668) and patron's box, confessional from 1775 (workshop of Michael Müller, Stralsund), portraits, sepulchral slabs. The churchyard is worth a visit.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.