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Naryn-Kala - Citadel Of Ancient Derbent
October 6, 2014 11:24


 Naryn-Kala, the citadel of ancient Derbent, stands on the slope of the hill hanging over the city. Two lines of fortifications that once led from the castle to the sea can be seen from the viewing platform. Quarters (mangals) of the old city are sandwiched between the northern and the southern walls. Everything behind the walls is the new city. Derbent began from here, from the citadel of Naryn-Kala.

The fortress often overshadows the rest of the city for tourists. The sea walls protected the port of Derbent; and the mountain wall, which can be called the Great Caucasian Wall, went into the mountains 42 kilometers deep. The fortress of Naryn-Kala was the centre of these powerful defensive constructions locking the passage between the Caucasus Ridge and the Caspian Sea - the only convenient way from the steppes of the south-eastern Europe to the Middle East.

The citadel at the Caspian Gate was built at the beginning of VI century, when Derbent belonged to the Persians. The founder of Naryn-Kala is considered the shah from the Sassanian dynasty named Kavad or his son Khosrau I Anushirwan who actually reigned in the last years of his father’s life. The name of the fortress is often translated as “Sunny”, but there are other versions, including romantic ones: Naryn could mean “tender”, “beautiful”, a name of the daughter or the beloved wife of the Shah. You can hardly call the fortress “tender”, but it is surely beautiful.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Derbent Naryn-Kala    

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