Warthausen castle is a large country palace which has been home to several famous historical personages, including authors Christoph Martin Wieland and Sophie von La Roche, and painter Johann Heinrich Tischbein. It was the traditional home of the Counts of Stadion-Warthausen.
In 1168, a castle was sold to Friedrich Barbarossa, and passed to the House of Habsburg in 1339. The castle burned down in 1474, and was rebuilt. In 1529, Reichsritter Dr. Hans Schad von Mittelbiberach (1505-1571) received the building from the House of Habsburg, adding new construction to it between 1532 and 1540, enlarging it to a country palace. It was burned again in 1623, during the Thirty Years' War, and rebuilt in the Renaissance style in the 1620s. From 1696 to 1827, Schloss Warthausen was in the possession of the Counts of Stadion. The State of Württemberg took possession of it and its hereditary rights in 1827. In 1829, it was acquired by Wilhelm von König-Warthausen. Since 1985, the building and its surrounding lands have been owned by Franz Freiherr von Ulm zu Erbach.
The palace is built in the South German Renaissance style. It has Baroque external architecture features. It is located just north of Warthausen, near the river Riss. It dominates the area and the eastern tip of the estate overlooks the Riss valley. The landscape as it had recently been completely redone in English style appears in a plan of 1793 by the gardener Brückner. This new landscape design set a historic new standard for German gardens. The landscaped portion of the entire 120 acre estate consists of about 17 acres. It contains parterres (formal gardens). The remaining land is neatly divided in fields lined by allées, some being there still. There are some ornamental ponds and lakes on the estate.
The Warthausen Brewery, active from 1632-1970, was located at the foot of the hill. It was a beer supplier for about 400 inns throughout Southern Germany and at tourist attractions. The building is now a nursing home.
The estate has been a setting of inspiration for notable writers and poets who were invited to the property from time to time over the years. Wieland, a leading authority of the German Rococo, for example was inspired by the grounds of the estate. Wilhelm von König-Warthausen gave detailed descriptions of the Schloss and its gardens in his works.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.