National Museum of Montenegro in Cetinje is a complex institution consisting of four museums: Museum of History, the Art Museum with the Modern art gallery Dado Duric, the Ethnographic Museum and the newly founded Archaeological Museum with Lapidarium.
Collection of museum exhibits on the territory of present-day Montenegro can be traced back to the ancient past. In a modern sense, however, it is possible to record the traces as of late 15th century, the time when Cetinje was established as a political and spiritual centre of Montenegro. The residences of Ivan Crnojevic and the Vranjine Metropolitan, built at the time, contained rich stores of cultural-historical treasure as well as archive and book collections. During the sixteenth and seventeenth century, collecting is to be associated chiefly with the Montenegrin Metropolitans, while the nature of the collected items relates primarily to church history.
The museum possesses the Oktoih Prvoglasnik, a significant printed work from the late 15th century. It also host the original icon of Our Lady of Philermos, which had been in the possession of the Order of St. John since the Crusades. The icon was removed from the St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta by Grand Master Ferdinand von Hompesch zu Bolheim when the Order was expelled from Malta by the French in 1798.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.