The Cathedral of St Justus and St Pastor in Alcalá de Henares was constructed between 1497 and 1515 in late Gothic style. The tower was built between 1528 and 1582.
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) the church was burned losing virtually all its treasures, saving some bars and some chairs from the old choir. In 1991 the diocese of Alcalá restored and elevated to the status of cathedral-master, the Diocese Complutense recovering that which was from the 5th century until 1099.
The exterior of the Cathedral is simple and austere. The walls are covered by molding type Segovia. They emphasize the cover of the western facade of Flamboyant Gothic style, in which central medallion depicted on Saint Ildefonso; and the tower, designed by Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón and Rodrigo Argüello, in herrerian style, with a height of 62.05 meters. Top is a beautiful spire tower slate.
The cathedral has a severe seventeenth century cloister arches between pilasters. Soils appear covered by Renaissance carpets from nearby convents. In one of the walls the grave of Cardinal Cisneros remains.
The building's interior is divided into three naves covered by cross vaults resting on pillars fasciculados. The overall shape of the building resembles the traditional Latin cross with marked transept. The entire building suffered much in that fire, and countless works of art and objects of great historical, devotional and sentimental value were lost. Today the cathedral houses apart from its religious functions, an interpretive center and the Cathedral Museum.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.