Sandersdorf Castle is a 17th-century building on a medieval foundation. It stands on a spur of high land to the west of the village of Sandersdorf. The building has four wings. The east and south wings are decorated with bay windows and gables. The lower west wing contains the inner courtyard with open arcades. There are onion domes over the gatehouse and the castle chapel. The most valuable works of art are a crucifix by Ignaz Günther and the Romanesque tympanum on the outside.
A castle was built as the seat of the lords of Sandersdorf in the mid-12th century. The castle changed ownership several times in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1420 it was burned by Duke Henry XVI of Bavaria-Landshut during his war with Duke Ludwig the Bearded of Bavaria-Ingolstadt. In 1425 Sandersdorf and its estate was awarded to the Muggenthal family. They held the castle for more than 200 years. The castle brewery was founded in 1550, and its Sandersdorf beer became widely known. The castle was destroyed during the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), but the Muggenthals rebuilt it in its present form.
In 1646, soon after the reconstruction, Wolfgang Unverzagt Freiher von Roy purchased the property. He went bankrupt, and Johannes Jakob Lossius bought it in 1650. In 1675 it was inherited by his nephew Dominikus de Bassus, a professor at the University of Ingolstadt. During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) the building was devastated in 1703. Thomas Maria Baron de Bassus became a leader of the Illuminati in Italy, an secret society founded to promote enlightenment ideas such as opposition to superstition, prejudice, and abuse of state power. In 1787 the Bavarian police raised Sandersdorf castle and found compromising documents. His estate was temporarily confiscated. Baron de Bassus died in Sandersdorf in 1815.
Sandersdorf remained the property of the Barons de Bassus, and was partially restored in 1900 by the Munich architect Gabriel von Seidl. In 2008 the Wittelsbach Compensation Fund bought the castle and estate from the de Bassus family.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.