The Amalienburg is an elaborate hunting lodge in the grounds of Nymphenburg Palace. It was constructed in 1734-1739 by François de Cuvilliés, in Rococo style, for the later Holy Roman Emperor Charles VII and his wife, Maria Amalia of Austria.
Most of the ground floor is given over to the round Hall of Mirrors in the center of the building which mirrored walls reflect the external nature. It was designed by Johann Baptist Zimmermann and Joachim Dietrich (1690–1753). It creates an ethereal atmosphere in the Bavarian national colors of silver and blue.
In the south of the hall, the door leads to the electoral Rest room and the Blue Cabinet, with access to the privy chamber. The Blue Cabinet was the bedroom of the Electress and the pavilion also accommodates a kennel room for the hunting dogs.
North from the Hall of Mirrors is the entrance to the Pheasant room and the Hunting room. The Pheasant Room is bordering the kitchen. The kitchen is decorated with precious tiles from Delft which when being laid were mixed up by workers in the wrong order. The blue and white tiles in a Chinese style show flowers and birds. The Castrol stove (1735) built for the kitchen is a masonry construction with several fireholes covered by perforated iron plates. It is also known as a stew stove and was the first design that completely enclosed the fire.
In the central niche of the eastern facade, is a stucco sculpture by Johann Baptist Zimmermann, representing a scene with the hunting goddess Diana. The presentation introduces the image program in all facilities of the building. The attic was derived from 1737, also manufactured to a design by Zimmermann, with decorative vases, which disappeared at an unknown date. In 1992, they were recreated and designed by Hans Geiger, four adorn the entrance facade, twelve the garden side of the Amalienburg.
A platform with ornate lattice, which is fitted to the building in the center of the roof, served as a raised hide for pheasant hunting: The birds were driven to the Amalienburg from the former pheasant (now menagerie) building. Since the castle could be supplied by the kitchen of Nymphenburg Palace, the Amalienburg lacks private farm buildings in contrast to the two other park pavilions.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.