Waldburg is the ancestral castle of the stewards and imperial princes of the noble House of Waldburg. Waldburg castle is located on a natural elevation, a drumlin from the last glacial period, at 772 metres height above sea level. The raised situation with view to the west up to the Hohentwiel near Singen, to the north up to the Ulm Minster, to the east far back in the Alpine foothills and southwards far into the Swiss Alps and the Lake Constance made the Waldburg to an important trigonometric point also for land surveying in the early 19th century of the ordnance survey. The steepen drumlin already offers by his very big slope angle an almost ideal military protection for a castle construction, however, complicated also the building and expansion more than seven centuries considerably.
The hill castle was very woody till the eighties of the 20th century. The view at the castle was moved again in the old condition for the public reopening in 1996 by specific deforestation in the beginning of the nineties. During the day, as well as at night with lighting, the castle is a very striking and important landmark in Upper Swabian.
The first foundation of the castle goes back to the 11th century. In this time the family of Waldburg received an official fief from the Guelphs. In the first half of the 13th century the castle was radically rebuilt, the palas was anew established up to the second upper floor. Under Emperor Frederick II the Imperial Regalia were kept in the castle from 1220 to at least 1240. In 1327 the church Saint Magnus was built at feet of the castle.
At the middle of the 16th century under steward Georg IV of Waldburg the castle was developed to a residence similar like a palace. From the 17th century the castle was inhabited only sporadically by the family of Waldburg and the building activity decreased.
Today the Schloss accommodates a museum and is opened for sightseeing during the summer season. The museum shows exhibits to the history of the castle from the Middle Ages on the basis of documents, paintings as well as fitments and basic commodities and to the development of the ordnance survey. The walking tour begins in the ground floor with the late Middle Ages and ends in the third upper floor with the collections of the 19th and 20th century. The Holy Lance, the Imperial Sceptre and the Imperial Orb are exhibited as replicas, since 2013 there is also presented a copy of the Imperial Crown.
A special feature of the exhibition is a Facsimile of the printed wall map of the world by German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller where the continent and the name America appeared for the first time, originally published in April 1507. The Federal Republic of Germany consigned the original in 2007 to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
The castle chapel is used for church weddings. Parts of the museum and the vaults are also available for wedding celebrations. The Burgschenke, the castle inn, is the former kitchen in the imperial castle; there are offered dishes after original recipes of the Medieval cuisine.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.