Russia's southernmost city - Derbent

Serguei Fomine/Global Look Press
Derbent is a city in the Republic of Dagestan, where about 130,000 people live.

It is not only the southernmost (located on the 42nd parallel), but also one of the oldest cities in Russia. It was founded in 6th century B.C. And, in 6th century A.D., the Derbent fortess of Naryn-kala, the “solar fortress”, was built. Its walls are three meters thick and, in some places, reach 25 meters in height. It is the oldest fortress in Russia.

The Derbent Juma Mosque, meanwhile, is the oldest mosque not only in Russia, but also in the entire post-Soviet space. It was built in 734.

Derbent is home to dozens of ethnic peoples. Lezgins, Azerbaijanis, Tabasarans, Dargins, Kumyks, Avars and many others.

Derbent used to be dubbed the ‘Caspian Gate’. The city had a successful strategic position: the Caucasus Mountains on one side and the Caspian Sea on the other. Today, Derbent has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. 

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