Schloss Weimar was the residence of the dukes of Saxe-Weimar and Eisenach, and has also been called Residenzschloss. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site 'Classical Weimar'.
In history, the palace was often destroyed by fire. The Baroque palace from the 17th century, with the church Schlosskirche where several works by Johann Sebastian Bach were premiered, was replaced by a Neoclassical structure after a fire in 1774. Four rooms were dedicated to the memory of poets who worked in Weimar, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johann Gottfried Herder, Friedrich Schiller and Christoph Martin Wieland. From 1923, the building has housed the Schlossmuseum, a museum with a focus on paintings of the 15th and 16th centuries and works of art related to Weimar, a cultural centre.
The building has been developed over the past 500 years. The first building on the site was a medieval moated castle, which was first documented at the end of the 10th century. After a fire in 1424, and again from the mid-16th century, when Weimar became the permanent residence of the dukes, it was remodelled. After another fire in 1618, reconstruction began in 1619 planned by the Italian architect Giovanni Bonalino. The church was completed in 1630, where several works by Johann Sebastian Bach were premiered between 1708 and 1717. Johann Moritz Richter changed the design to a symmetrical Baroque structure with three wings, open to the south.
The building was destroyed by fire in 1774. Duke Carl August formed a commission for its reconstruction directed by Johann Wolfgang Goethe. Architects Johann August Arens, Nikolaus Friedrich Thouret and Heinrich Gentz kept the former walls of the east and north wings and created a 'classical' interior, especially the staircase and the banqueting hall. Decoration was supplied by sculptor Christian Friedrich Tieck. In 1816, Clemens Wenzeslaus Coudray began plans for the west wing, which was reopened in 1847 with a court chapel. The wing contained the so-called Dichterzimmer (poets' rooms), initiated by Duchess Maria Pavlovna. They commemorate Christoph Martin Wieland, Johann Gottfried Herder, Friedrich Schiller and Goethe. From 1912 to 1914 a south wing was added under Duke Wilhelm Ernst.
The Herder Room was restored in 2005, the restoration of the Goethe Room and the Wieland Room was completed in 2014.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.