The Jakopič Garden, named after the famous Slovenian Impressionist painter Rihard Jakopič, whose studio overlooked the garden, is the site of the remains of a terraced Roman house built in the 1st century AD as part of a larger building complex. In the times of the Roman Emona, the building, now referred to as House No. 15a, used to contain four apartments with a large shared atrium.
The remains of the house, which used to cover 500 square metres, include an original 1st century floor indicating the distribution of rooms, part of a nearby road, and a cloaca (sewer shaft), which still serves its original purpose. The building was raised three times, for the last time between the 4th and 5th centuries AD. On view at the Jakopič Garden is evidence of all the three upward extensions.
The north-facing main entrance to House No. 15 led to a hallway from which one corridor led to a room with a central heating furnace, kitchen and flush toilets, and another one to a winter parlour connected to a smaller room, both of which were paved and centrally heated. The Roman central heating system was based on the principle of heating uderfloor chambers from which hot air was flowing through earthen pipes installed into plastered walls. The building's main room, a summer parlour, was paved with a two-colour mosaic typical of the 4th and 5th centuries. The remains of the house bear witness of the high level of development of the culture of living in ancient Emona.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.