It is not clear when and by whom the Roztoky fortress was found. Appearance of the fortress was documented by the archaeological research from the period of the 2nd half of the 13th century, when the place around the fortress consisted of a huge stone residential tower, surrounded by a high city wall, a moat and a rampart. The floor plan of the residential tower is marked in the stone pavement of the courtyard. In written sources the fortress is explicitly presented from the year 1416, in a dispute over the land between the owner of the manor of that time and the monastery of Benedicts inBřevnov (now a part of Prague).
At the end of the 14th century the Roztoky manor got into ownership of brothers Eberhard and Reinhard of Mühlhausen (town between Kassel and Erfurt in Germany), who belonged to a wealthy patrician family. The importance of the family in thecontext of contemporary society was not insignificant because Eberhard was a treasurer of the emperor Charles IV. After his death (1381) Roztoky was passed to his younger brother Reinhard, who began an exacting reconstruction of the early gothic fortress in a comfortable residential seat. He demolished the residential tower, and built a sumptuous palace on the south east side of the fortress. On the first floor of the palace he placed a bay chapel decorated with wallpaintings, preserved almost in its original look. The paintings represent a unique piece of art, comparable with manorial range of paintings. Their design is closed to monumental decorations of the significant church of St. Clement in nearby Levý Hradec. The same artists from the same workshop probably worked on the both works of art.
In 1453, Lords of Donín, who realized the completion of circular courtyard buildings in 1476, attained Roztoky. The storied buildings were accessible from courtyard by several external staircases.
Boryněs of Lhota were major renaissance builders, who owned Roztoky from the year 1565 till 1623. The first holder of Roztoky, knight David Boryně of Lhota, was a provincial officer, a successful farmer and a landlord, but also a very harsh master. He created good financial precondition to further building development. But in the year 1590 when mob from surroundings of Prague and his own vassals plundered the castle, the knight was tortured for his cruel behaviour and died a year later, probably due to its consequences. More extensive construction works of the fort apparently took place in three stages up to the late 16th century – the ground floor was gradually vaulted and the 2nd floor wasbuilt including roofing with painted beamed ceilings.
David Boryně was seized due to the participation in uprising of Czech estates against the emperor Matyáš. Because of the dire financial situation Roztoky castle and the whole manor was forcibly sold to Karel of Liechtenstein in the year 1623.
In 1623 Charles I. Liechtenstein, who became the most famous member of this family in the Czech lands, purchased the Roztoky manor. In 1599 he converted to catholic religion and in the following years gradually acquired a number of high court offices. From the year 1621 he held the position of the royal governor in Bohemia and became the second most important man in the kingdom after the Czech king, respectively the emperor of Habsburgs. Thanks to his position he could significantly expand his ancestral property. At the beginning of the thirty years ' war he bought, or receivedfrom the emperor, number of dominions confiscated from Protestant nobles. He also received large funds by participating in the so-called coin consortium, which minted debased coins. Depreciation of the currency led to state bankruptcy in the year 1623. In the central Bohemia, except Roztoky, he also bought e.g. extensive estate of Kostelec nad Černými lesy, whose official administration was of liechtensteins` possession at the time superior of the Roztocky manor. From the year 1623 the Roztoky castle was no longer a manor but it became only a seat of aristocratic administration of the estate and was inhabited by officials.
Today Roztoky castle is museum.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.