Plankstetten Abbey was founded in 1129 as a private monastery of the bishops of Eichstätt by Count Ernst of Hirschberg and his brother Gebhard of Hirschberg, Bishop of Eichstätt. The Romanesque crypt remains from the time of the foundation.
After the decline in monastic standards in the 15th century, the abbey was reformed by Abbot Ulrich IV Dürner (1461–94), who also founded the brewery. The abbey was badly damaged during the German Peasants' War (1525) and again in the Thirty Years' War (1618–48).
Major buildings works in the Baroque style were undertaken from the end of the 17th century. Under Abbot Romanus Dettinger (1694–1703), he created the entrance gateway with the abbot's lodging above it, the Prelates' Hall and the Banqueting Hall, as well as the corner tower on the way to the inner courtyard. The next abbot, Dominikus II Heuber (1704–11), continued the building works with the move of the sacristy and the construction of the new brewery (now the library).
Later in the century, Abbot Dominikus IV Fleischmann (1757–92) undertook the refurbishment of the abbey church. The crossing chapels are due to him; their stucco work was carried out by Johann Jakob Berg, stucco master to the court of Eichstätt. Dominikus IV was also responsible for the guesthouse opposite the main gateway.
In 1806, in the course of the secularisation of Bavaria, the monastery was dissolved and the buildings and estates auctioned off. As early as 1856, there were plans to re-found the abbey, but these came to nothing, as the government authorities refused to give the necessary consents.
Finally, in 1904, thanks to the financial support of the Barons Cramer-Klett, Plankstetten was re-settled as a priory of Scheyern Abbey and was raised again to the status of abbey in 1917. In 1958, a 'Realschule' with a boarding house was opened in Bavaria. The school closed in 1988. This caused the abbey to re-examine their role and possible options, and the community now runs a training centre, a monastery shop, a farm, a nursery for plants, a butchery and a bakery, which have been organic since 1994. The boarding facilities are now used as a guesthouse.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.