Add to favorite
Subscribe to our Newsletters Subscribe to our Newsletters Get Daily Updates RSS

The Most Ancient Cities of Russia, Part 1
November 30, 2014 17:20

It still remains a mystery which Russian city is the oldest one. Archeologists and scientists carry out various researches, but however profound they are, there is still not enough information. Therefore one can mention several versions, according to which there are three cities that might be the oldest in Russia. 

According to the most probable and widespread version, the most ancient city of Russia is Derbent. It is located in the territory of modern Dagestan. The ancient name of this city was the Caspian Gate. The earliest references of the site date back to the 6th century B.C. They were made by the Ancient Greek geographer Hecataeus of Miletus.
In spite of these ancient records, there are still disputes as to what city can be called the oldest city of the Russian Federation. In those bygone times when Derbent was already marked on the world map, there was no trace of the Russian Empire or the Kievan Rus’. Therefore, lots of scientists believe that the Caspian Gate cannot be correlated to Russia in any way. However, now Dagestan is part of the Russian Federation, just like the Moscow Region and the Krasnodar Territory

There is no word “derbent” as such, but it is a derivative from the word “darband” that has Persian roots and means “narrow gate”. Derbent is located in quite a narrow passage between the foothills of the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea. Sometimes this passage is called “the Dagestan corridor”. Once Derbent used to be one of the principal stations of the well-known ancient Silk Way. Therefore lots of rulers wanted to conquer it and carried out a range of bloody fights and battles. The city of Derbent was repeatedly destroyed and ruined. In spite of that it had long-lasting periods of heyday.
The oldest city of Russia is now filled with a great number of museums. More than half of Derbent is a memorial estate with a complex of stone buildings dated to the 6th century B.C. 
Naryn-Kala Fortress is one of the highlights of the complex. Throughout many centuries it served as a defensive checkpoint. Juma Mosque in the complex territory deserves special attention. It was constructed in the 8th century B.C. Juma is the oldest mosque in Russia. The temple was occupied by Arabs turned it into a mosque. But the temple was built long before the first Arabs came to Derbent. Therefore its entrance is not in the north as it should be but in the south. In front of the mosque there is a madrasah of the 15th century. 
Nowadays Derbent tries to keep up with modern trends and organizes tour itineraries. Every year thousands of tourists come to enjoy the sights of the oldest city of Russia.

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Dagestan     

Next Previous

You might also find interesting:

Russian Science of the 18th Century Borodino Battle History Of Tver Artistic Culture of the 19th Century, Part 1 Nicholas II, the Last Russian Emperor

comments powered by Disqus

Comment on our site

RSS   twitter   facebook   submit

Bookmark and Share

Marina Tsvetayeva   Russian Cinema  Teddy Bears  Lipetsk   Show Business  Bashkiria  Theater Olympics  Photo Exhibitions  scandal  Russian tycoons  terrorism  Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts  Avant-garde  Moscow  Stavropol Territory  Tambov  Belomorsk  Garry Bardin  Ecotourism  Olympic Games 2012  Nikolay Zelinsky  Festivals in Moscow  Alexey Ulyukayev  Astrakhan Region  Concerts in Saint Petersburg  Economic Development Ministry  Moskatov  Arctic shelf  Exhibitions in Moscow  ice town  Zenit St. Petersburg  Russian business  Fashion  shopping in Perm  Russian International  LGBT in Russia  Leningrad Region  Russian Geographic Society  St. Petersburg  Russian theatre  Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia  Doll Exhibition  human rights  Russian tourism  Monuments  Fairs in Moscow  Russian regions  BAM  travel to Russia  New Films 

Travel Blogs
Top Traveling Sites