The old town and medieval castle of Kršan lies on the hill, while new town and village is along the road. The castle is first mentioned in 1274. It was abandoned until the 13th or early 14th century, when it was rebuilt byHeinrich III. Until 1374, when counts of Gorizia became extinct, it was in duality of governance, between the real masters Counts of Gorizia, and Aquileia church in which name the Counts ruled over the castle. When the counts extinct it wasn't returned to Aquleia patriarchs (the state Patria del Friuli), but was inherited by Habsburg family.
The Habsburg family gave it to their vassal Krotendorfer or Cherstlein family. Since then the castle is mentioned as Kršan (Kerschan). They kept it until 1631, with short interruptions when its lords were families Devinski (1388–99), Walsee (1399-1431) and Wolf (1431–36). Later as lords are mentioned de Fini, Auersperg, Rampelli, Benvenuti dell Argenti, Josip de Sussani (who found the Istrian Demarcation from 13th-14th century), then his nephew Franjo Scribani, then nobleman from Plomin Matija Tonetti, and as last Giovanni Tonetti.
From the medieval castle is well preserved the tower of quadrangular layout, while residential and defensive complex was renovated in new residential buildings. The town is entered on the east side of the completely preserved city gate, on the right hand the city defense wall leans a number of houses of which the first is the old municipal house. In the inner courtyard of the castle has been preserved foursquare frame of Gothic portal from the 15th century, and well throat with engraved year 1666. The two-nave parish church of St. Antun was built in the 17th century, and the most of the church furniture dates from the 18th century. At the cemetery is nave chapel of St. Jakov from the 15th century. On the floor of the church, paved with brick and stone, are gravestones of feudal lords from the 15th, 16th and 17th century, particularly the plate from 1415 of Juraj Kršanski in a Latin epitaph inscribed with Gothic letters.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.