Eisenberg Castle is a medieval hilltop castle ruin north of Pfronten. Eisenburg Castle was built in 1313, when the nobles of Hohenegg, deriving from the West of the Allgau, were deprived by force of their castle, Loch, by the Tyrolean. In consequence, they moved a few miles further north to establish their new lordship of Eisenberg which centered round a new castle. To visualize their power towards Tyrol/Austria, which held the closely sited castle of Falkenstein, Peter of Hohenegg decided to build Eisenberg in a most impressive manner: he placed it on top of a high mountain and surrounded the main castle with an exceedingly high curtain wall which gave the impression of a huge tower. The two residential houses together with the kitchen and chapel leaned against the inside of the curtain wall. The ground to the south of the main castle was covered by the outer castle, with access to the main castle from the east; later to be walled up, but still visible.
In 1382 the nobles of Hohenegg sold their castle to Austria, which by then was a more reliable partner than anybody else around. In 1390 Austria made Frederic of Freyberg constable of the castle whose eldest son built the neighbouring castle of Hohenfreyberg in 1418-32. Though the defences of the castle were strengthened around 1500, the castle was conquered without any effort in 1525 in the course of the German Peasants' War by local peasants who damaged the castle badly.
Nevertheless the castle was rebuilt ten years later in a sumptuous way by Werner Volker of Freyberg after receiving high compensation payments from the peasants. He improved the living luxury immensely by erecting a new stair tower and adding a bakery, a bath and several mured toilets to the curtain wall. Also the main castle got a new main gate towards the west.
The end of the castle came on the 15 September 1646, shortly before the end of the Thirty Years' War, when the Austrians burnt their own castles of Eisenberg, Freyberg and Falkenstein in a policy of scorched earth. in the 1980s the 'Burgenverein Eisenberg' and the community of Eisenberg restored the fabric and established a small museum in the center of Zell.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.