The Vučedol archaeological site is located on the right bank of the Danube River. Both sides along the pass towards the Danube make up the archaeological site, on the left is the Karasović Vineyard, and on the right is a large complex which include the Streim Vineyard, the Streim Cornfield and artificially separated from them is a little plateau known as Gradac, which with later excavations was confirmed as being the metallurgical and cult centre of the site. Vučedol is one of the most significant archaeological sites in Europe.
The first investigations of the site date back to 1897. This attractive location was first inhabited in about 6,000 B.C. at the time of the first farmers, and more or less it was inhabited intensively through the whole of prehistory. The period between 3,350 – 2,300 B.C. was the most intensive period of its existence and in that period it was undoubtedly the most significant European centre. Since this was also the time of the early settlements of Troy (Troy I and II) many analogies can also be found with the archaeological material from Vučedol. More precisely, we can also characterise Vučedol as the European Troy by its contemporaneousness, but even more so by the continental significance of the site and its finds.
Archaeological excavations to date are able to very precisely reconstruct the daily life and customs of four cultural phenomena which in that time swept through Vučedol (Baden, Kostolac, Vučedol and Vinkovci). It was a turbulent time of the immigration of the first Indo-Europeans and their relationship with the natives, the blending of material cultures and religions. Each of the above-mentioned cultures had its own interesting separate destiny in Vučedol, however the most detailed one able to be reconstructed is the Vučedol which also gave its name to this site. Vučedol reached a real peak in the intensity of settlement right in the period of the Vučedol Culture (3,000 – 2,500 B.C.). Excavations show that the culture was literally born in this area and that for a long time it was its most significant centre. This cultural phenomenon at its peak completely or partially covered 14 of today’s European countries – the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania and one settlement has even been registered in Eastern Greece.
Vučedol Culture Museum was established in 2013 as a national museum. This is the result of many years of efforts in Vučedol because its character is classified in the first row of archaeological parks and entered in the archaeological map of this part of Europe.References:
The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.
The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.
In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.
During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.
Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.
The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.
During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.