Gleink Abbey was founded in the early 12th century by the local nobleman, Arnhalm I of Glunich, who gave his castle for conversion to a monastery. The premises, dedicated to Saint Andrew, were ready for occupation in the 1120s. Gleink was settled from Garsten Abbey. The abbey suffered fire damage in 1220, 1275 and 1313, but narrowly escaped destruction at the hands of the invading Hungarians in the late 15th century and the marauding Turks in 1532, although they caused devastation in the surrounding area. Later in the 16th century the Reformation and the spread of Lutheranism caused more difficulties, a trend which only began to reverse from 1575 with the appointment of Abbot Georg Andreas (1575–1585) from Niederaltaich Abbey. The abbey also suffered damage during the Thirty Years' War.
From the later 17th century however more favourable circumstances allowed the development and refurbishment of the premises in the Baroque style, principally associated at Gleink with Abbot Rupert II Freysauf von Neudegg (1709–1735). Abbot Wolfgang Hofmayr, well known as a preacher and a professor in the University of Salzburg, took office in 1762. He was the last abbot: the monastery was dissolved under Joseph II on 21 May 1784.
After a short period of use as a barracks, the buildings were given to the Bishop of Linz as a summer residence. In 1832, at the invitation of the then bishop, a community of Salesian Sisters from Vienna took up residence. No new novices entered the community however after about 1950, and the convent was eventually closed in 1977. Since the dissolution the parochial duties had been carried out by parish priests, but from 1950 were undertaken by the Missionary Order of the Heart of Jesus, who settled and run a boys' home here ever since. The premises today also accommodate a museum of religious objects, ecclesiastical embroidery and so on.
The continuing difficulties faced by the abbey were reflected in the depleted state of its library, which in 1599 contained only 110 printed books and 150 manuscripts. However, in the relative prosperity of the period from the mid-17th century onwards, the library grew, acquiring among other things the manuscript of the Gleinker Weltchronik. It is an illuminated manuscript describing a history of the world based on the Bible. Produced in the mid-14th century, it contains an inscription placing it at Gleink in 1712. This manuscript is now Codex 472 of the Linz University Library.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.