St. Michael Archangel's Church in Smolnik was built the eighteenth-century, which together with different tserkvas is designated as part of the UNESCO Wooden tserkvas of the Carpathian region in Poland and Ukraine.
The first reference to the existence of an Eastern Orthodox Church tserkva in Smolnik comes from a register in 1589 of the Sanok Land. It is presumed that the wooden tserkva was built at the start of the village, in 1530. The tserkva was most likely destroyed by fire or flooding. The second Eastern Orthodox Church tserkva in the village was raised in 1602, with the parish priest being Jan Hryniewiecki. The tserkva burnt down in October 1672, most likely due to Tatar invasions. After 1672, another tserkva was raised in a different location to increase its defence from invasions. Since 1697, the Uniate treaty was enforced into the Smolnik parish. The fourth tserkva to be built in the village was completed in August 1, 1791.
The first major restoration of the tserkva was carried out in 1921, largely financed by the parish. The roof wood shingle was replaced with tin and the iconostasis renovated. The tserkva's affiliation was to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church until 1951 (when as part of the 1951 Polish–Soviet territorial exchange, Smolnik was returned to Poland and the populace of the area moved to the Soviet Union. Parts of the tserkva's interior was moved to Łańcut. In 1974, the tserkva was transferred to the Roman Catholic parish. The tserkva had undergone a major renovation between 2004 and 2005.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.