The Old Cathedral (Alter Dom) in Linz was built by Jesuits between 1669 and 1683 in Baroque style. From 1785 to 1909 it served as cathedral of the Diocese of Linz.
The church was erected near the former Jesuits' College at the south end of the Hauptplatz. The church was originally called the Church of Ignatius and was dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuit Order.
The Jesuit Order was dissolved in 1773 by Pope Clement XIII. The Diocese of Linz and St. Pölten von Passau was effectively founded in 1783 by a decree of the Emperor Joseph II (1741–90) without advance approval from Rome. The emperor appointed the bishop and designated the former Jesuit church as the cathedral. The diocese was officially established by a papal certificate of 28 January 1785. Bishop Gregorius Thomas Ziegler (1827–52) led an era during which the church was restored. In 1909 the function of cathedral was transferred from the Ignatius church to the new building. The Jesuits returned in 1909.
The exterior of the church is relatively plain, with two towers on either side of the main door, topped with onion domes. The interior is decorated in lavish Baroque style, with pink marble columns. There are three side chapels on either side of a wide main nave.
The church has an elaborately detailed wooden pulpit, and a high altar made by Giovanni Battista Barbarino and Giovanni Battista Colombo that incorporates many statues in marble. Antonio Bellucci (1654–1726) made the painting of Saint Aloysius that is located above the altar. The stalls in the presbytery were carved by local artists, and are decorated with the faces of monsters and dwarfs. The carved choir stalls from the 17th century were transferred from Garsten Abbey. The Baroque organ was built by Franz Xaver Krismann, with alterations requested by Bruckner. The organ has not been modified.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.