Castro de Santa Trega is a Galician fort and archaeological site located on the hillsides of Mount Santa Trega. The site is strategically located overlooking the mouth of the river Miño. Belonging to the Castro culture, it is the most emblematic and visited Galician fort.
Santa Trega is a ‘Castro-Roman’ settlement. It was inhabited between 100 BC and 100 AD, in a period when the process of Romanisation of the northwest of the Iberian peninsula had already begun. Despite this, the construction system reflects techniques that respect the Castro tradition and has seen very little Roman influence. This style is dominated by the use of circular structures. Only a small percentage of the estimated size of the settlement has been excavated so far. At present only the northern part, excavated in the 80s, and some structures at the top of the mountain are open to visitors. It is bordered by a wall which surrounds a stretch of land more than 700 metres north-south by 300 metres east-west. However, these measurements are not confirmed to be accurate.
Proof of a human presence approximately 2,000 years prior to the settlement's construction is confirmed by the petroglyphs or rock engravings left in various locations in that area. Many of these petroglyphs were concealed by structures raised during the construction of the fort. The Laja del Mapa’ also known as the Laja Sagrada (Sacred Rock), is the better known of the geometric representations that are still visible. Situated on the highest part of the hill, the engraving is made up of various spirals, concentric circles and roughly parallel lines. It is evident that these engravings have no relation to the fort, since they are a product of a society that developed 2,000 years before, during the final stage of the Galician Neolithic period.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.