Vižula is an archaeological site near Medulin, confirmed to be populated from the Neolithic to the Early Middle Ages. Remains of a Neolithic settlement were found including wicker cottages glued together by soil and mud, as well as parts of the ceramics and some dishes. However, the most significant is the Roman villa, which has undergone systematic research, dating back to the 1st and the 2nd centuries. It was found that the villa had been constructed in three phases until the 6th century.
The structure was elevated from the sea coast by terraces, while its bottom part lies today sunk under the sea, giving only a glimpse of the pier remains. The villa was a residential country house for both noblemen and the Emperor. Its preserved architecture shows that the villa was facing the sea, with the floors partially decorated by mosaics, clearly visible shapes of the swimming pool, the water supply, toilet, led and masonry built sewage. The residential part of the villa is located on the western part of the Vižula peninsula. On its south-east is the jetty with storehouses and the premises for servants and slaves.
The findings of the floor mosaics are also interesting.They combine blue stone ceramic tiles and cubes forming geometric shapes. Found infrastructure remains speak of a comfortable life in the villa with floor heating which is used in modern building as well. Vižula has an opportunity to become a true archaeological park following the completion of the research. The two explorations of the nearby necropolis found several hundred graves made by different burial techniques, containing skeletons and urns, jewellery and initialled glass bottles.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.