The Basilica di San Marino is dedicated to Saint Marinus, the founder and patron of the San Marino Republic. The present church was built in 1836 in place of an earlier one that dated to 7th century. It is built in the Neoclassical style, with a porch of eight Corinthian columns. Relics of St. Marino are enshrined in the basilica.
An earlier church was erected on the spot in the 4th century which was dedicated to the same patron. The first document attesting the existence of the church dates to 530 in the La Vita di San Severino by Eugippius. A later document, the Placito Feretrano, dates from 885. The first document that directly relates to the 'Pieve di San Marino' is dated 31 July 1113, with donations from the faithful public.
At the beginning of the 1800s, the church was in critical condition. In 1807, it was razed and a project for the construction of the new church was handed to the Bolognese Achille Serra. In 1825, the council decided to build a new church in the place where the old church had stood. Construction began in 1826 and was completed in 1838. On 5 February 1838, the church was solemnly inaugurated in the presence of the Bishop of Montefeltro, Crispino Agostinucci and the Captain's-Regent.
Over the course of centuries, the basilica has witnessed civil turmoil. Because of this, in 1992, the Vatican made several decrees. These included that the basilica, as the mother-church of all churches within the Republic, is made exempt from the jurisdiction of the parish of the city of San Marino. The basilica is entrusted to the care of a priest who holds the title of Rector, and the Rector is appointed and removed in accordance with canon law.
The interior of the basilica consists of three naves, supported by sixteen Corinthian columns which form a large ambulatory around the semicircular apse. The altar is adorned by a statue of St. Marino by Adamo Tadolini, a student of Antonio Canova. Under the altar are relics of St. Marino which were found on 3 March 1586; some relics were donated to the island of Rab (Croatia), the birthplace of the saint, on 28 January 1595. A reliquary bust in silver and gold dated to 2 September 1602 lies to the right of altar. In the right aisle is a small altar dedicated to Mary Magdelene and a painting by Elisabetta Sirani.
The Chiesa di San Pietro is located at the Basilica of San Marino, to the side of the front steps. It was originally built in 600. It houses a valuable altar with inlaid marble, donated by the musician Antonio Tedeschi in 1689, which is surmounted by a statue dedicated to St. Peter by Enrico Saroldi. In the crypt of this church there are two niches cut into rock that are said to be the beds of San Marino and San Leo. Inside is a monument to Pope John XXIII, erected by the Government of the Republic.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.