The Museo delle Mura ('museum of the walls') provides an exhibition on the walls of Rome and their building techniques, as well as the opportunity to walk along the inside of one of the best-preserved stretches of the Aurelian Wall. The museum is free of charge.
The museum in its present form, was officially opened in 1990. Prior to 1939, the Porta San Sebastiano (also known as the Porta Appia) had been open to the public but it was then taken over by Ettore Muti, the Secretary of the Italian Fascist Party. White-and-black mosaics in some rooms date back to that time. From 1970, there was a small museum connected to the internal parapet of the Aurelian Wall but this museum was only open to the public on Sundays, and, after a few years, was closed.
The museum provides a detailed history of wall construction in Rome and the surrounding areas, with information going back to one constructed in Ardea to the southeast of Rome in the 8th century. It describes the construction methods of the first Roman wall, built by Servius Tullius the legendary sixth king of Rome, the second wall constructed in the 4th century BC after invasion of Rome by the Gauls, and the Aurelian Walls, constructed in the 3rd century CE, as well as subsequent work to raise the height of those walls and improve defences, and more recent additions and changes up to the 20th century. In addition to text and diagrams, some models of walls are provided.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.