The Lighthouse of Genoa (Lanterna di Genova) serves as a symbol and a landmark for Genoa. Built of masonry, at 76 m it is the world's fifth tallest lighthouse and the second tallest 'traditional' one. Between 1543 and the construction of the lighthouse on Île Vierge, France in 1902, it was the tallest lighthouse in the world. When measured as a whole with the natural rock on which it stands, as it is commonly perceived and represented, its height is 117 m, which would make it the second tallest lighthouse in the world, the tallest in Europe, and the tallest traditional lighthouse.
It is constructed in two square portions, each one capped by a terrace; the whole structure is crowned by a lantern from which the light is shone.
The tower was shelled during the bombardment of Genoa by the French in 1684; the windows which were damaged were replaced on the orders of Louis XIV in 1692. In 1778 construction began on a new lighting system designed to counteract damage done to the lighting apparatus over several centuries of use. In 1840 a rotating Fresnel lens was installed; the system was formally inaugurated in January 1841. It was modified up until the end of the century in order to increase its capability; the entire lighthouse was modernised again in 1913, but the electrification was poorly done, and had to be refitted in 1936. One last major restoration project, begun after American and British air attacks of World War II, was completed in 1956. It is also the symbol surrounding the Derby della Lanterna between two football clubs, Genoa C.F.C. and U.C. Sampdoria.
Adjacent to the tower is the Museo della Lanterna. The museum mainly covers the history of the city and the port, and contains a good deal of archival material. Some of the displays also cover the history of navigation and navigational aids in Genoa, and describe various signaling systems that have been used at sea. Part of a Fresnel lens, similar to that found in the lighthouse itself, is shown in such a manner as to display its inner workings. In addition to the permanent displays, temporary exhibits are also sometimes shown at the 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.