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Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

 

Derbent is the most ancient and southernmost city of Russia. In September of 2015 Russia will celebrate its anniversary.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Photo by alex-oil

The citadel Naryn-Kala, ancient city and fortress buildings of Derbent are in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia


Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

From the fortress and down to the see there is a really thick wall.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

It was built on a strategic place where the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains is connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Etymology of Derbent derives from the Persian Darband, meaning "locked gate", and it is often identified with the legendary Gates of Alexander. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia (8th century BC). Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic particularity, 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. Over the years, different nations gave the city different names, but all connected to the word gate.

Derbent became Russian in 1796, after it had been stormed by Russian army.


As this plate reports, the fortress is the largest in the entire Near East.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

 

Local loafers shamelessly ask for handout from the guests. They were unexpectedly satisfied with only 10 rubles.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

After that small unpleasant incident we had really exiting excursion through the fortress.

Musicians play for all the guests at the entrance.


Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

On the view point we could hear voice of mullah calling believers for namaz: "Allah Akbar!....". The wind was bringing us coolness together with salty smell of the sea. And we had a feeling that this place is something very different from Russia we had known.

That big tree almost in the center of the panorama is a thousand-year-old platan in the yard of the ancient Juma-mosque (established in 733-734)....

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

 

 

Entrance payment is only 40 rubles.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Sophisticated fountain with drinking water.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

 This pit was for prisoners.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

 

The cat is not happy to see us.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

 

Visitors are not plentiful, although it was a weekend.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

You can feel breath of antiquity everywhere, from mossy beautifully carved stones...

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

...to siege tools and millstones.


Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

 Western gate.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Here we climbed up the wall and had a walk.


Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia


Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia


Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia


Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Here you can estimate the hight of the walls in comparison with the cow:

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

The fortress is really impregnable and has been being constantly restored.

At the foot of the fortress there is archaeological dig.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

View from the walls is overwhelming


Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia


Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

The roof of Khan bathhouse...

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Khan bathhouse is not in a very pleasant smelling place now...


Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia


Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

 

 Here is khan's palace:

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

It looks like there is a museum, but at the moment it was closed.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Someone makes themselves shashlyk within ancient walls.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

You can endlessly roam among this ancient beauty.


Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

 

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

I think thousand years ago it was pretty much the same.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Tired, but happy, we went to the exit. They see you off with music too.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Naryn-Kala is really a grandiose structure!

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

After getting acquainted with the fortress, we decided to take a look at the old city of Derbent, remnants of the wall, cemetery and the church.

First we went down along the wall and discovered how pomegranate tree grows.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Patriarchs.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

More fruit trees.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Gate in the wall leads into the old city.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Feeling as if you unintentionally got into someone's yard...

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Passed by famous Juma-Mosque ("Friday Mosque").

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Ancient Armenian church.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Lenin square.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Modern side of Derbent :)

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Don't ask me what this fellow has in his head. What I know for sure is that local people really enjoy to pose for photos.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

 The cemetery is notable, apart from everything else, for the fact that 40 witnesses of Muhammed the Prophet are buried within its walls.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

These tombs are very honored by all Muslims. They are surrounded by the fence and there is a keeper who takes care of them.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Other graves.

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

Derbent: one of the most ancient "living" cities in the world, South of Russia

 

This year there will be big celebration of Derbent's anniversary in September. Different activities (festivals, exhibitions) will last until 2018. One more reason to visit this extremely interesting city.

 

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