The Church of St. Florian was commissioned by the citizens of Ljubljana in memory of the great fire which devastated the Stari trg and Gornji trg squares in 1660. Built after 1672, the church burnt down in 1774. Since then it has undergone several reconstructions. It was given its present appearance by the architect Jože Plečnik, who reconstructed it between 1933 and 1934.
Plečnik had the former door recess filled with the statue of St. John Nepomuk carved by Francesco Robba in 1727 for the chapel by the bridge over the Sava river in the suburb of Črnuče, landscaped the church's surrounding area, and built the nearby walking path to Ljubljana Castle. The large fresco of Our Lady of Mercy above the church door was painted by Janez Potočnik at the end of the 18th century. The niches above the fresco are adorned with statues of Charles the Great and St. Charles Borromeo. A supposedly original portrait sculpture of a citizen of the Roman Emona is built into the wall above the terrace. The church's interior still boasts Baroque paintings of saints, altars and other furnishings.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.