The earliest parts of Fyvie Castle date from the 13th century – some sources claim it was built in 1211 by William the Lion. Fyvie was the site of an open-air court held by Robert the Bruce, and Charles I lived there as a child.
Following the Battle of Otterburn in 1390, it ceased to be a royal stronghold and instead fell into the possession of five successive families, each of whom added a new tower to the castle. The oldest of these, the Preston tower (located on the far right as one faces the main facade of Fyvie), dates to between 1390 and 1433. The impressive Seton tower forms the entrance, and was erected in 1599 by Alexander Seton; Seton also commissioned the great processional staircase several years later. The Gordon tower followed in 1778 , and the Leith in 1890.
Inside, the castle stronghold features a great wheel stair, a display of original arms and armour, and a collection of portraits.
Manus O'Cahan and Montrose fought a successful minor battle against the Covenant Army at Fyvie Castle on October 28, 1644.
Following Victorian trends, the grounds and adjoining Loch Fyvie were landscaped in the 19th century. The Scottish industrialist Alexander Leith (later Baron Leith of Fyvie) bought the castle in 1885. It was sold to the National Trust for Scotland in 1984 by his descendants. Today the castle is open to the public.
The castle (like many places in Scotland) is said to be haunted. A story is told that in 1920 during renovation work the skeleton of a woman was discovered behind a bedroom wall. On the day the remains were laid to rest in Fyvie cemetery, the castle residents started to be plagued by strange noises and unexplained happenings.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.