The Church of Saint-Nizier name refers to Nicetius of Lyon, a bishop of the city during the 6th century. The first religious building on the site of the present church was a Roman monument, perhaps a temple of Attis, whose worship was probably the cause of the Christian persecution in Lyon from 177. In the 5th century, according to tradition, Eucherius of Lyon, 19th bishop of Lyon, built on the ruins of the building a basilica to contain the relics of the martyrs in Lyon, tortured in 177. In the 6th century, the bishops were buried in the church, particularly Nicetius of Lyon, the 28th bishop. The body of the latter attracted a crowd and his presumed great miracles led the church to take his name.
In the early 8th century, the church has been ravaged by the Saracens and by Charles Martel. It was rebuilt in the 9th century, at the behest of the bishop Leidrade. Peter Waldo, in the 13th century, was a parishioner. His disciples, shocked by the wealth of the church, even set fire in 1253.
From the 14th century to the late 16th century, the church was gradually rebuilt. In 1562, the notables gathered in the church, and in the 17th century, the aldermen were elected in the nave. It suffered the damage caused by several bands of Huguenot, which plundered the bishops of Lyon's tombs, then those of the French Revolution.
After the French Revolution, the church served as flour warehouse. In the late 18th century, the project to transform the church into a gallery was abandoned after a petition signed by 100 notables.
The sacristy was built in 1816, and the organ was installed in 1886.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.