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 Abbey of Saint-Etienne, also known as Abbaye aux Hommes ('Men"s Abbey'), is a former monastery dedicated to Saint Stephen (Saint Étienne). It is considered, along with the neighbouring Abbaye aux Dames ('Ladies" Abbey'), to be one of the most notable Romanesque buildings in Normandy. Like all the major abbeys in Normandy, it was Benedictine.
Lanfranc, before being an Archbishop of Canterbury, was abbot of Saint-Etienne. Built in Caen stone during the 11th century, the two semi-completed churches stood for many decades in competition. An important feature added to both churches in about 1120 was the ribbed vault, used for the first time in France. The two abbey churches are considered forerunners of the Gothic architecture. The original Romanesque apse was replaced in 1166 by an early Gothic chevet, complete with rosette windows and flying buttresses. Nine towers and spires were added in the 13th century. The interior vaulting shows a similar progression, beginning with early sexpartite vaulting (using circular ribs) in the nave and progressing to quadipartite vaults (using pointed ribs) in the sanctuary.
The two monasteries were finally donated by William the Conqueror and his wife, Matilda of Flanders, as penalty for their marriage against the Pope"s ruling. William was buried here; Matilda was buried in the Abbaye aux Dames. Unfortunately William"s original tombstone of black marble, the same kind as Matilda"s in the Abbaye aux Dames, was destroyed by the Calvinist iconoclasts in the 16th century and his bones scattered.
As a consequence of the Wars of Religion, the high lantern tower in the middle of the church collapsed and was never rebuilt. The Benedictine abbey was suppressed during the French Revolution and the abbey church became a parish church. From 1804 to 1961, the abbey buildings accommodated a prestigious high school, the Lycée Malherbe. During the Normandy Landings in 1944, inhabitants of Caen found refuge in the church; on the rooftop there was a red cross, made with blood on a sheet, to show that it was a hospital (to avoid bombings).