The Notre-Dame-en-Vaux in Châlons-en-Champagne. The cathedral is a major masterpiece in Marne. With its spires, visible from dozens of kilometres away, it is one of the most amazing monuments in Châlons’ rich heritage. The church is registered on the World Heritage List by UNESCO under the title of 'roads to St Jacques de Compostela in France'.
Originally located outside the city walls, Notre-Dame-en-Vaux was built on a swampy area where three rivers converged, of which only the Mau remains. It was not brought inside the city walls until the 13th century. The first chapel was built in the 9th century, the church was subsequently built and occupied by a community of canons in 1114 who lived together “in college”, hence its status as a collegiate church.
Only the lower level of the transept and the towers of the chevet remain from this period. The rest of the building underwent reconstruction until 1217, in a so-called transitional style (leading to the Gothic period). It was at this point that Notre-Dame became an important pilgrimage destination. The chancel and the ambulatory with three stunning chapels, the first level of the transept and the nave with seven bays date from this period. The south porch, in a flamboyant Gothic style, was completed in 1469.
The collegiate church suffered greatly during the French Revolution and in the decades that followed. It was even transformed into a horse arena and then into stables, and was later invaded by the coalition armies. Throughout the 19th century, the celebrated architect, Lassus, and the Champenois abbot sought to restore the medieval architecture of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux. They had a second spire reconstructed on the façade. In addition, they restored an organ and some stained-glass windows in a Gothic style. They also repaved the ground with ancient tombstones and commissioned the Châlons artist Gustave Moriamé to design the neo-Gothic high altar.References:
Monte d"Accoddi is a Neolithic archaeological site in northern Sardinia, located in the territory of Sassari. The site consists of a massive raised stone platform thought to have been an altar. It was constructed by the Ozieri culture or earlier, with the oldest parts dated to around 4,000–3,650 BC.
The site was discovered in 1954 in a field owned by the Segni family. No chambers or entrances to the mound have been found, leading to the presumption it was an altar, a temple or a step pyramid. It may have also served an observational function, as its square plan is coordinated with the cardinal points of the compass.
The initial Ozieri structure was abandoned or destroyed around 3000 BC, with traces of fire found in the archeological evidence. Around 2800 BC the remains of the original structure were completely covered with a layered mixture of earth and stone, and large blocks of limestone were then applied to establish a second platform, truncated by a step pyramid (36 m × 29 m, about 10 m in height), accessible by means of a second ramp, 42 m long, built over the older one. This second temple resembles contemporary Mesopotamian ziggurats, and is attributed to the Abealzu-Filigosa culture.
Archeological excavations from the chalcolithic Abealzu-Filigosa layers indicate the Monte d"Accoddi was used for animal sacrifice, with the remains of sheep, cattle, and swine recovered in near equal proportions. It is among the earliest known sacrificial sites in Western Europe.
The site appears to have been abandoned again around 1800 BC, at the onset of the Nuragic age.
The monument was partially reconstructed during the 1980s. It is open to the public and accessible by the old route of SS131 highway, near the hamlet of Ottava. It is 14,9 km from Sassari and 45 km from Alghero. There is no public transportation to the site. The opening times vary throughout the year.