Wynegg castle was built in the 13th century for the Wynegg family. The first known member of the family, Ludwig von Wynegg, appears in a record in 1254. The family last appears in 1270 when Ulrich von Wynegg was mentioned. The family probably served the Bishop of Chur or the Freiherr von Vaz. After the family died out, the castle and lands were inherited by Vaz family, though the Bishop also claimed that he owned the castle. At first Johann von Vaz appeared to accept the bishop's claim, but in 1299 he went to court to prove that it was legally his fief.
Even after the extinction of the Vaz family in 1337/38 the ownership of the castle remained murky. On 6 December 1338 Count Ulrich von Montfort swore that he would return the castle to his uncle Friedrich V von Toggenburg. It is unclear why this was necessary since Friedrich should have inherited the castle through his wife, Kunigunde von Vaz. Then, on 11 December 1338 Friedrich received the castle as a fief under the authority of the Bishop of Chur. Over the following decades the Toggenburg counts held the castle, along with Schanfigg and Davos, for the bishops. In 1421 Frederick VII and the bishop quarreled and the bishop withdrew the fief. However, following arbitration through the city of Zurich, Wynegg was returned to the count. In 1436 the last Count of Toggenburg died and the estate reverted to the bishop. In 1441 it was granted to the Junker Heinrich Amsler after which it disappears from the records until 1548 when it was described as a ruin.
Around 1600 the ruin was acquired by Andreas von Salis, who built a new three-story patrician style home in the ruins. In 1602 it was inherited by the Guler von Davos family through the marriage of his daughter Margaretha. They expanded the house and by 1624 were calling themselves Guler von Wynegg. For nearly two centuries it was a country estate for the family, but around the end of the 18th century it was abandoned and allowed to decay. In 1793 the municipality of Malans purchased the abandoned castle for 2,200 gulden.
The ruins of Wynegg castle stand on a rocky outcropping north of Malans. Due to the 17th century construction, very little of the original castle still remains. Part of the old ring wall, which was up to 2.5 meters, and traces of the three-story palas can still be seen. On the east side, toward the mountain, a natural depression was deepened into a defensive ditch.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.