Gamberk castle is closely related to Galls family, one of important ministerial families of late Middle Ages. The castle may have been built by Ortolf III of Svibno already in the mid-11th century. Modern historians however believe that it's was not built before the second half of 12th century when Gall family was came from Bavaria to Carniola as ministerials. First indirect mention of the castle is from 1248 when it is referred to as Gallenberch but its typical design allows the castle to be built before year 1200.
In the 14th century Gamberk castle was still a property of Gall-Gallenberg family, even if they have moved their seat to a newly built Gallenstein castle near Podpeč in Lower Carinthia already in the second half of 13th century. Gamberk at the time still controlled provincial court of law even though the castle itself began to lose its importance, but the have supposedly Galls lost the dominion in the same century. It is definite that the castle was owned by house of Šternberg at the beginning of 15th century and they have sold it to Habsburgs in 1443.
House of Habsburg was leasing the castle or giving it out to stewards. In 1461 the castle's steward was Konrad noble Apfaltrer and in 1546 the castle was in the hands of Franc noble Altenhaus. Two years later Ferdinand I along with tithe on Trojane pawned the castle to Hans noble Rechberg. But already in 1553 the castle became a lien of Jakob noble Lamberg. With the consent of the emperor he extended medieval tower design into a luxurious Renaissance residence.
Gamberk remained as a property of Lambergs until 1630s and then in 1640 it was sold by its owner at the time Jurij Žiga count Paradeiser to Jernej - Bartolomej baron Valvasor, father of Slovene historiographer. He was in 1661 succeeded by Luenburg family and in 1677 Poor Clares order from ljubljana have bought the castle but sold it the same year to Gašper noble Lichtenturn.
Andrej Ksaverij, the next Baron of Lichtenturn repaired the castle. Inside. The castle was in Lichtenturn's hands until 1769 after which some other owners followed, like Montanists between 1804 and 1830. In the middle of 19th century it was a property of mining share holders company which was using the castle as a vacation resort. After 1875 a few private owners followed until it was completely abandoned two decades later. But as we can see from a sketch by Hinko Kartin its surrounding walls were fifty years later still as high as projecting roof in the second floor.
Currently the castle is undergoing reconstruction works.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.