San Salvador de Oña monastery was founded by Sancho García, the Count of Castile, for his daughter Tigridia, as a double monastery in 1011. The nuns came from the Monastery of San Juan in Cillaperlata, while the monks were from the Monastery of San Salvador in Loberuela.
In October 1033, King Sancho III of Navarre gave the monastery to the Abbey of Cluny, by which it became a part of the largest monastic organization of the era. It flourished during this period, coming to have over 70 other monasteries and churches under its authority.
In 1506 the monastery joined the Benedictine Congregation of Valladolid, which had a program of a return to the reformation of the monastic life, following a strict interpretation of the Rule of Saint Benedict. It was badly damaged during the Peninsular War of the Napoleonic era, and the monks were dispersed.
In 1835, the monastic church was converted into a parish church to serve the people of the town. The property of the monastery was returned to the Catholic Church in 1880, when it was acquired by the Society of Jesus. They occupied the buildings for nearly 90 years.
The monastic complex came into the possession of the Province of Burgos in 1968, at which time it was used as a psychiatric hospital.
The surviving architecture of the monastic complex is a series of connected buildings, ranging in date from the Romanesque style of the 12th century, commonly seen in Cluniac monasteries, to the Gothic renovations of the 15th century.
The gate to the monastery is a notable example of the Mudéjar style.
The interior of the monastery church measures 83 meters by 20 meters, with a height of 20 meters. It was renovated in the 15th century and contains a number of paintings attributed to a monk of the community, Dom Alonso of Zamora.
In the sanctuary can be seen a Renaissance-era altarpiece of the Immaculate Conception, along with remains from the medieval altarpiece it replaced in the 15th century. The choir has a domed vault built about 1460 by Fernando Díaz. An apse was opened in it during the 18th century to house the relics of St. Íñigo of Oña (died 1057), one of the first abbots of the monastery. The choir stalls there, also from that period, were carved in walnut by Dom Pedro of Valladolid.
The Monastery of San Salvador became the final resting place for many of the leading figures of northern Spain, especially during its early centuries of operation.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.