The Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in Kotor is one of two Roman Catholic cathedrals in Montenegro. It was built in honor of Saint Tryphon, the patron and protector of the city, on the same site where an older church had already existed long ago. That earlier church was built in 809 by Andrija Saracenis, a citizen of Kotor, where the remains of the saint were kept after being brought from Constantinopole.
The cathedral was consecrated on 19 June 1166. Compared to other buildings, the Kotor Cathedral is one of the largest and most ornate buildings in Kotor. The cathedral was seriously damaged and rebuilt after the 1667 Dubrovnik earthquake, but there were not enough funds for its complete reconstruction.
The April 1979 Montenegro earthquake, which completely devastated the Montenegro coast, also greatly damaged the cathedral. Luckily, it has been salvaged and the careful restoration of parts of its interior has not been completed until a few years ago. The Romanesque architecture, contains a rich collection of artifacts. Older than many famous churches and cathedrals in Europe, the cathedral has a treasury of immense value. In its interior there are frescoes from the 14th century, a stone ornament above the main altar in which the life of St Tryphon is depicted, as well as a relief of saints in gold and silver.
The collection of art objects includes a silver hand and a cross, decorated with ornaments and figures in relief. It is only a part of the valuable objects of the Treasury of this unique sacral building which was the City Hall in the past. Today, it is the best known tourist attraction in Kotor and a symbol of the city: the Saint is depicted in the city's coat of arms, along with a lion and the Mount of San Giovanni.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.