Cittadella is a medieval walled city founded in the 13th century as a military outpost of Padua. The surrounding wall has been restored and is 1,461 metres in circumference with a diameter of around 450 metres. There are four gates which roughly correspond the points of the compass.
The town was founded in 1220 by the Paduans to counterbalance the fortification of Castelfranco. It was built in successive stages in a polygonal shape on orthogonal axes through the construction of 32 large and small towers, with the formation of a protective moat and with four drawbridges next to the four entrance gates.
Its walls, 14 to 16 metres tall, were built with the 'box masonry': two parallel walls filled with a sturdy core of stones and hot slaked lime totaling a thickness of about 2.10 metres.
The walls today are all intact except for a stretch destroyed in the 16th century during the Cambrai war, and the skilled detail of the construction are still easily visible. It has as many as seven different construction techniques characterized by the alteration of courses in brick and those in river rocks mixed with brick can be recognized.
Among the elements of interest, the Rocca di Porta Bassano still retains the defense apparatus of the keep and entrance gates. The Casa del Capitano (Captain's House) is found inside the Rocca (Fortress). Restoration has uncovered frescoes dating to the period of the Carraresi, Malatesta, Sanseverino and Borromeo families. They hand down an out-and-out historical account of the events that occurred between 1260 and 1600, almost replacing written documents.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.