Ellingen belonged to the Teutonic Order from 1216 onwards and was the Residence of the Territorial Commander of the Bailiwick of Franconia. This was the most powerful bailiwick in the Teutonic Order, and the small town of Ellingen thus represented the centre of a far-reaching territorial and economic power.
At the time when today’s palace was built, however, the Teutonic Order had already become a charitable institution for the lower aristocracy. The site of today’s palace was previously occupied by various medieval buildings, as well as a highly prestigious Renaissance building. Starting in 1708, the present palace grounds were built and the late Gothic church was converted to the Baroque style. The vast main building was built by the architect Franz Keller from 1718 to 1720.
Of the interior decorations, the ceiling frescos, wall panelling, floors and above all the stucco work by Franz Joseph Roth have survived. The colonnade in the inner courtyard is part of the conversion work carried out by French architect Michel d’Ixnard and was newly erected around 1775.
In 1789, the seat of the Bailiwick of Franconia was moved to Bad Mergenheim. This effectively closed the history of Ellingen Palace as the Residence of the Teutonic Order. A few years later, the Order was almost completely dissolved and ownership of Ellingen passed to the Kingdom of Bavaria. In 1815, King Max I Joseph presented the palace to his outstanding field-marshal, Carl Philipp, Prince of Wrede, who had several rows of rooms newly decorated with enormously expensive silk and paper wallpapers, furniture, glass and bronzes from Paris. Together with the stucco work and furniture by Michel d’Ixnard, these rooms are now among the most important interior design works dating from the Classicist period in Bavaria.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.