Dun Troddan is one of the best preserved brochs in Scotland. It stands on a level rock platform north of the Abhainn a’Ghlaine Bhig, in the lower reaches of Gleann Beag. The neighbouring broch of Dun Telve lies 470 metres to the west, whilst the 'semi-broch' known as Dun Grugaig is around 2 kilometres to the southeast.
Dun Troddan was first sketched in about 1720 when it was still an intact tower. It is thought that it was over 12 metres high in 1720. It was robbed for stone in 1722 during the construction of Bernera Barracks in Glenelg. The broch was visited by Thomas Pennant in 1772, and it was still a substantial structure, although it had lost the upper gallery by this time. The broch consists of a drystone tower which measures around 17.5 metres in diameter, and currently stands to a maximum height of 7 metres. The external walls are 4.5 metres thick at the base.
The entrance is on the southwest side, and is now roofless. On the left side of the entrance passage is a small side-chamber, sometimes called a 'guard cell'. The broch has features now missing from Dun Telve; these include a number of postholes in the floor and a hearth. Built into the hearth is a broken quern-stone. The central court is an almost perfect circle with a diameter of 8.56 metres.
An internal doorway in the remaining high part of the wall provides access to a stairway. From here it is possible to ascend nine stairs to a first floor landing. The landing is 5.7 metres long, at a height of 2.4 metres above the central court. At the end of the landing can be seen the first step which would have led up the next flight of stairs.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.