Gottstatt Monastery was established in 1255 by Count Rudolf I von Neuchâtel-Nidau. A previous attempt to establish a monastery on the site in 1247 there had been unsuccessful. The monastery church was built in 1300 and was the burial church for the Counts of Neuchâtel-Nidau. After their line became extinct in 1375, the monastery was inherited by the Counts of Kyburg-Burgdorf until it was acquired by Bern in 1388. Documents from 1295, 1309 and 1314 indicate that the monastery was a local pilgrimage site and expanded several times. A monastery school was in operation from the beginning.
During the Gugler War of 1375 the monastery was attacked and heavily damaged by the Gugler knights. Shortly thereafter it was rebuilt. The last construction project on the monastery occurred during the tenure of the Abbot Konrad Meyer (1504-14). While the monastery owned a number of vineyards, houses and farms along with rights in a number of parishes, politically it was fairly weak. None of the 22 known abbots was a nobleman.
The monastery was closed in 1528 as part of the Reformation. From 1528 until 1798, the monastery building served as the seat of the bailiwick and low court of Gottstatt.
In 1803 the whole monastery building and compound was sold into private ownership. The Reformed Church began buying back the monastery, piece by piece, in 1965. Today it is the parish church for the Orpund parish.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.