Grünwald Castle is a medieval hill castle. The history goes probably back to a Roman watchtower on the Isar river. The high medieval castle of the 12th century was documented as a possession of the counts of Andechs. In 1293 it came into the possession of the Wittelsbach. Louis II, Duke of Bavaria acquired at that time the possession of the fortress from Ulrich Vellenberg, a ministeriales of the Counts of Andechs. The castle served then also as a residence for his consort Matilda of Habsburg. The present building dates mainly from the late 15th century, when the castle was renovated to celebrate the wedding of Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria with Kunigunde of Austria, a daughter of emperor Frederick III. The construction work was carried out 1486–87 under the direction of the foreman Jörg Weikertshausen. Louis X, Duke of Bavaria was born here in 1495. The castle was then used as a ducal hunting lodge, prison and powder magazine.
In 1872 the castle was sold into private hands. A project for a luxury condominium was prevented by a citizens' initiative which finally led to the purchase of the castle by the Free State of Bavaria in 1976. Since 1979 the Castle houses the Museum Grünwald, a branch of the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection. The castle can be visited, the main tower offers a worthwhile view.
Large parts of the castle were demolished in the 17th and 18th century because the Isar River had undermined the castle hill. At that time the late-Gothic residential quarters of the castle with their rich interior and the chapel of St. George were lost. The early modern state is still delivered on a fresco in the Antiquarium in the Munich Residenz.
Since the partial demolition the fortress is an irregular rectangle plant, which is protected by a kennel with a round tower and a deep moat and a gate tower with a renewed cycle of coat of arms. In the north-east corner stands a donjon, a high, square tower. In between lies the elongated three-storey east wing. The north west corner is dominated by the embattled so-called little tower. The adjoining west wing consists of three different levels. The deep fountain in the courtyard which is lined with tufa stone still goes back to the Middle Ages.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.