Derbent is the most ancient and southernmost city of Russia. In September of 2015 Russia will celebrate its anniversary.
Photo by alex-oil
The citadel Naryn-Kala, ancient city and fortress buildings of Derbent are in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
From the fortress and down to the see there is a really thick wall.
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.
Local loafers shamelessly ask for handout from the guests. They were unexpectedly satisfied with only 10 rubles.
After that small unpleasant incident we had really exiting excursion through the fortress.
Musicians play for all the guests at the entrance.
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)....
Entrance payment is only 40 rubles.
Sophisticated fountain with drinking water.
This pit was for prisoners.
The cat is not happy to see us.
Visitors are not plentiful, although it was a weekend.
You can feel breath of antiquity everywhere, from mossy beautifully carved stones...
...to siege tools and millstones.
Here we climbed up the wall and had a walk.
Here you can estimate the hight of the walls in comparison with the cow:
The fortress is really impregnable and has been being constantly restored.
At the foot of the fortress there is archaeological dig.
View from the walls is overwhelming
The roof of Khan bathhouse...
Khan bathhouse is not in a very pleasant smelling place now...
Here is khan's palace:
It looks like there is a museum, but at the moment it was closed.
Someone makes themselves shashlyk within ancient walls.
You can endlessly roam among this ancient beauty.
I think thousand years ago it was pretty much the same.
Tired, but happy, we went to the exit. They see you off with music too.
Naryn-Kala is really a grandiose structure!
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.
More fruit trees.
Gate in the wall leads into the old city.
Feeling as if you unintentionally got into someone's yard...
Passed by famous Juma-Mosque ("Friday Mosque").
Ancient Armenian church.
Modern side of Derbent :)
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.
The cemetery is notable, apart from everything else, for the fact that 40 witnesses of Muhammed the Prophet are buried within its walls.
These tombs are very honored by all Muslims. They are surrounded by the fence and there is a keeper who takes care of them.
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.