The Church of St. Pantaleon is one of the twelve Romanesque churches of Cologne. The church dates back to the 10th century. The former monastery church is consecrated to Saint Pantaleon and the Saints Cosmas and Damian and is the oldest church of the cult of Saint Pantaleon west of Byzantium. The empress Theophanu and the archbishop Bruno the Great are buried in the church, which also contains shrines of saints Alban, the first Christian martyr of Britain, and Maurinus of Cologne.
A Roman villa originally occupied the hill, just outside Roman Cologne, on which the church stands. Remains of this villa are still visible in the church crypt. The villa was replaced with a church around 870 and in 955, Archbishop Bruno the Great (brother of Emperor Otto the Great) added a Benedictine abbey. Here, Bruno was buried after his death. In 966, work was begun on a new church to go with the monastery. The church was consecrated in 980.
Holy Roman Empress Theophanu, a Byzantine princess who was married to Emperor Otto II in 972, ordered the construction of the current facade and was also buried in the church at her own request.
From 1618 onwards, the building was remodeled in several phases to a Baroque style church. The monastery was dissolved after Cologne was occupied by French revolutionary forces in 1794. The church then served as a horse stable, and, after Cologne became Prussian in 1815, as a Protestant garrison church. A semaphore telegraph was placed on the roof of the church to enable rapid communication between Cologne and the Prussian capital of Berlin.
In 1890–1892 the building underwent restoration and in 1922 the church, through an exchange with the Cologne Charterhouse, again became Catholic. During the Second World War, the roof, parts of the outer walls and a large part of the interior were destroyed, but after the war the church was restored. During this restoration, in 1955-1962, an archeological survey was conducted. Around 1956-1957, new church bells were placed, and in 1963 a new organ was installed.
The coffered ceiling in the nave, depicting the Tree of Jesse and portraits of various saints, was designed and realised by artist Dieter Hartmann and was made possible by support of the booster club for the Romanesque churches of Cologne. The ceiling in the flanking westwork was done by artist Gerhard Kadow in 1966, and depicts the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Since the 10th century, the church holds a shrine to Saint Alban. The remains of Saint Alban probably ended up in the church after the Dissolution of the Monasteries by King Henry VIII of England in the 16th century. In 2002, a collar bone, one of the relics in the shrine, was moved to St Albans Cathedral in St Albans, England, and placed in the shrine to Saint Alban there.
The church also contains a 12th-century shrine to Maurinus of Cologne said to contain the remains of this saint.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.