Sobrado Abbey was founded in 952 by Count Hermenegildo Alóitez and his wife Paterna. In 958, the founders transferred the county of Présaras to the monastery and, in that same year, Hermenegildo retired there where he lived as a monk the rest of his life and where he was buried. The abbey was inherited by his descendants and nearly two centuries later, in January 1142, the brothers Fernando and Bermudo Pérez, two of the most distinguished members of the House of Traba, handed it over to the Cistercian monks from Clairvaux.
The abbey flourished during the 12th and 13th centuries and was able to undertake the foundations of its own daughter house, Valdedios Abbey in Asturias. Sobrado was also given the supervision of Monfero Abbey after it joined the Cistercian Order.
After a period of decline, in 1498 Sobrado was the first abbey in Galicia to join the Castilian Cistercian Congregation.
The monumental new Baroque abbey church was dedicated in 1708. Most of the conventual buildings were also rebuilt at this time. The dissolution of the monasteries enforced by the government of Mendizábal in 1835 put an end to the abbey, and the abandoned buildings fell into decay.
In 1954 the Cistercian monks of Viaceli Abbey in Cóbreces, west of Santander, began reconstruction, having already refounded and restored Huerta Abbey in 1929, and were able to resettle the monastery with a new community in 1966.
The present abbey church, now roofed with a number of domes and cupolas, was built at the end of the 17th century, although the Magdalene Chapel (Capela da Madalena or Capilla de la Magdalena) dates from the 14th century. The sacristy was built by Juan de Herrera. The monastery has three cloisters. The kitchen and the chapter house remain of the medieval monastic buildings.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.