During the High Middle Ages ownership of Brenz an der Brenz rested with a minor noble family who took their name from the location. Members of this family are mentioned several times in the records from this time. In the Galluskirche there is a gravestone from 1190 for Sebolt von Brenz who is listed as a Crusader. After 1250 a side line of the noble family von Güssenberg occupied Schloss Brenz. To pay debts, the family quickly fell into highway robbery and the castle was destroyed under orders of Louis IV in 1340. However the castle was partly repaired soon afterward.
The Güssen family became too poor to support the castle, and in 1613 sold the entire village and castle to the Duchy of Württemberg. In 1617 Duke Julius Friedrich von Württemberg took the villages of Brenz and Weiltingen under his control, founding the junior Württemberg line of Württemberg-Weiltingen. Schloss Brenz was used as a temporary home for his family. However, the damaged castle was destroyed in 1634 during the Battle of Nördlingen of the Thirty Years' War. In 1672 Duke Friedrich Ferdinand had the castle rebuilt in a Renaissance style. The foundation of the old castle and some portions of the walls are still visible, but most of the castle was built new.
After the junior Württemberg-Weiltingen line died out, Brenz returned to the main line House of Württemberg. Duke Eberhard Ludwig gave the castle to his mistress Wilhelmine von Grävenitz in 1721. When she fell out of favor, she was forced to leave Württemberg and all her gifts behind. Schloss Brenz remained generally empty afterward, though a branch of the family von Racknitz lived in the castle for a short while.
In 1847 the community inherited the castle. It was used for by the city government and also as a school. In 1906 the oldest Community Heritage Museum in Württemberg was founded in the castle. The Baroque portal in the Knights hall was repainted in 1931 by Heinrich Eberhard. The building was renovated in 1972 and the regional Registar as well as the community room for the local Protestant congregation were added.
The castle museum is described as a geological, paleontological and community heritage museum. The museum was founded in 1906 on the initiative of the inhabitants of Brenz an der Brenz. The core of the museum is the collection of notable fossils from the Swabian Jura from professor Hans Wagner. The community heritage section contains earthenware and stoneware, pewter tableware and cast iron stove tops, costumes from the lower Brenztal as well as rural tools.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.