The city of Derbent in the Soviet Autonomous Republic of Daghestan has been in existence for more than one thousand, five hundred years and today is protected by the Government as an outstanding example of ancient architecture.
GV PAN FROM Steep hillside TO road near Derbent
TV Fortified city battlements PAN TO road and mountainside
GV Entrance to fortified city of Derbent
GV EXTERIOR Wall
LV ZOOM IN TO CU Ornamental archway inside ancient Derbent
CU hillside ZOOM OUT AND PAN ALONG ramparts
GV Remains of former fortified area (2 shots)
Modern Derbent has a population of 57,000 people who work at industries which include wool spinning, wine-making and a large cannery.
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Background: The city of Derbent in the Soviet Autonomous Republic of Daghestan has been in existence for more than one thousand, five hundred years and today is protected by the Government as an outstanding example of ancient architecture.
SYNOPSIS: Historians believe that it came into existence around the year 438 A.D. Its name is of Persian origin and means "gateway". During the fifth and sixth centuries extensive defensive works were completed -- among them two parallel walls three kilometres (1.8 miles) apart running inland from the Caspian Sea.
These walls, more than 40 kilometres (24.8 miles) long, ended at the Naryn-Kala stronghold. Derbent fortress itself stands in the narrow passage between the Caucasus mountains and the Caspian Sea -- on an important and strategic trade route from Europe to Asia. In the past it came under attack at frequent intervals and was often beseiged.
There are records of eighth century invasions, when Arabs poisoned they city's water and the people were forced to open the gates. But today it stands as a tranquil monument to the skills of a bygone age.