The Schottenstift (Scottish Abbey) is a Roman Catholic monastery founded in Vienna in 1155 when Henry II of Austria brought Irish monks to Vienna. The monks did not come directly from Ireland, but came instead from Scots Monastery in Regensburg, Germany. Henry granted the new monastery extensive privileges. Construction of the first monastery started in 1160, and the structure was consecrated in 1200. The monastery was outside the city walls of Vienna. The monks also built a hospice for pilgrims and crusaders, who often passed through Vienna on their way to Jerusalem.
The first church was a three-aisled Romanesque pillar church with a single apse. Henry II was buried there upon his death in 1177. A fire in the year 1276 destroyed the cloister and many other buildings in Vienna.
In 1418, Duke Albert V seized the cloister during the Melker Reform, an attempt to revive the original ideals of Benedictine monasticism, and settled a community of Benedictines in their place. These new residents, however, continued to be known as the 'Schotten'.
The collapse of the tower, struck by a lightning bolt in 1638, was seized as an opportunity to completely rebuild the church, a project undertaken by the architects Andrea d'Allio the Younger and Silvestro Carlone. The church was somewhat shortened, and the tower no longer stood directly beside the basilica. Joachim von Sandrart provided the church with a new altar piece, which today is kept in the prelates' hall. After the Turkish siege, the church was restored. As the Baroque west tower was barely higher than the façade itself, its extension has often been proposed, but this has never come to fruition.
In 1773 and 1774, a new priory, with school, was built by Andreas Zach in the grounds of an open air cemetery. In 1807 the Schottengymnasium, an institute for secondary education, was founded by imperial decree. Around 1830, the auxiliary buildings of the Abbey, in particular those that bordered on the Freyung, were renovated and partially rebuilt by Joseph Kornhäusel. In the 1880s the church was restored and partially renovated. From this period date the ceiling paintings by Julius Schmid, and a new high altar, built from sketches by Heinrich von Ferstel, with a mosaic by Michael Rieser.
Today Schottenstift is a museum. It contains, among other notable items, the Schottenmeisteraltar from ca. 1470.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.