The Rudenz tower was built in the early 13th century. It protected the Gotthard road (Gotthardstrasse) and housed an Imperial customs post. In the 14th century, the right to collect Imperial customs was owned by the Lords of Attinghausen. The first known owner of the tower was Baron Johann von Attinghausen. After Baron Johann von Attinghausen's death around 1360, ownership passed to the Haslital Knight of Rudenz (by virtue of marriage). The tower thus came to be known as the Castle of Rudenz. The Knights of Rudenz were in the service of the Freiherr of Brienz-Ringgenberg and owned castles in Meiringen and Giswil before inheriting the tower at Flüelen. The inheritance was disputed and Johann von Rudenz finally took possession of the castle in the 1370s. As part of receiving the inheritance on 19 June 1365 he granted half the collected tolls to the Canton of Uri. He ruled there for only a few years and died, the last of his line, before 1383.
After the death of Johann von Rudenz, the castle passed through a number of owners. In the first half of the 17th century it was owned by Landammann Johann Heinrich von Brunnen. In 1727 it was acquired by Johann Joachim Epp. Then, in 1815 the Zgaggen family purchased it for 1,900 gulden. They repaired the old tower and returned it to a livable condition. They filled in the old dry moat and planted extensive gardens around the castle. However, over the following centuries, they had to sell off parts of the land and the gardens were replaced with streets and buildings as Flüelen grew. The castle was later sold to the municipality of Flüelen. In 2005 the municipality opened a public park on the castle grounds and opened the great hall for events.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.