Derbent is one of the oldest living towns in the world.
Derbent is one of the oldest living towns in the world. Few towns and cities in the world have such a rare and holistic cluster of historical and architectural monuments of antiquity which have survived to the present day in good condition. The architectural monuments of Derbent are a real source of knowledge. One can read the history of the town in each of them.
Derbent is situated on the west coast of the Caspian Sea, where the Caucasus mountains go right down to the shore, leaving only a narrow, coastal strip. From time immemorial, people have traveled through this place, following the famous Caspian Way, the road from Europe to the Middle East.
The first settlement on the site of modern Derbent was due not only to its strategically important and geographically convenient location, but also to its favorable climate. Therefore, there were settlements here in the early period of human history, and even then they were well fortified.
The architectural monuments of the town are man-made wonders, representing at least five thousand years of human history, from the earliest objects of the Albanian (ancient) period to the latest achievements of modern architecture. The Juma Mosque (cathedral mosque) of the town, built in the early thirteenth century, is one of the five oldest mosques in the world.
The precious diamond in the treasury of Derbent heritage is the architectural ensemble of the Naryn-Kala citadel. The walls of Naryn-Kala are 700 meters long and 2 meters thick. This majestic stone structure in its remote location was meant to symbolize the power of the rulers who lived there, to demonstrate their indisputable power and instill fear. Visitors can enjoy a magnificent view over the town from the Naryn-Kala citadel: the picturesque ancient town with its narrow streets and domes of mosques, the new residential coastal developments, the vast expanses of the ancient sea, exotic greenery, vineyards, and golden fields of wheat.
The beauty of the Caspian coast is complemented by the picturesque mountains surrounding Derbent. Here one can see incredibly old marine fossils which were carried to the top by the growing mountains, as well as various forms of karst.
Derbentsky District is located in a subtropical zone: citrus plants, figs, pomegranates, almonds, walnuts, grapes, and many other crops are all grown here. The period from May to September is considered to be the beach season.