The Propylaea is a city gate in Munich at the west side of Koenigsplatz. The building constructed in Doric order was completed by Leo von Klenze in 1862 and evokes the monumental entrance of the Propylaea for the Athenian Acropolis. The gate was created as a memorial for the accession to the throne of Otto of Greece, a son of the principal King Ludwig I of Bavaria.
As early as 1816 it was already considered to build the Propylaea, but it took 30 years until the order was issued for this purpose. Klenze painted a picture before the construction of the Propylaea, to promote its project. As King Ludwig I had resigned in 1848, the project was called into question because Munich at that time did not need a gate anymore. Finally Ludwig I financed the building from his private resources as a sign of the friendship between Greece and Bavaria as well as a monument to the Greek War of Independence.
The Propylaea was opened shortly before King Otto was forced to resign. While on a visit to the Peloponnese in 1862 a coup was launched in Greece, a provisional Government was set up and summoned a National Convention. Ambassadors of the Great Powers urged King Otto not to resist, and the king and queen took refuge on a British warship and returned to Bavaria. So the Propylaea have also become a monument for the failed secundogeniture of the Wittelsbach.
Each of the two towers of the gate is a powerful block with a large portal and an open room upstairs. The two portals of the towers served to freight transport, the driving (as seen from the city) leaving the city was operated through the left gate, in the downtown of freight passed through the right gate. The monumental gate in the middle of the Propylaea was reserved for riders and city cars. The underside of the roofs of the towers was designed as a coffered ceiling. If somebody wanted to move the upper floor between the towers, one would have to climb over the railing on the flat roof.
While the exterior shows Doric columns in the interior Ionic columns can be found to bear the rafters of the Propylaea. In addition, the floor plan shows as well as the section of the gatehouse, that the basement of the building could be traversed by stairs, platforms and passageways.
The neo-classical architects of that time knew already that Greek temples were colored. But unfortunately, it was unknown how they succeeded in ancient Greece, marble surfaces to be provided with bright colors. Leo von Klenze would give the building a magnificent colors jewelry, but he also found a solution for the application of the paint. So he planned instead the plastic decoration of the Propylaea. The reliefs and sculptures celebrating the Bavarian prince and the Greek War of Independence were created by Ludwig Michael Schwanthaler.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.