Vinicko Kale

Above the city of Vinica, on a hill of around 40 meters above see level, surrounded by very steep sides, remains of a former settlement from the late-antique period have been found, today known under the name of Vinica Fortress.

According to the archeological findings, this settlement used to spread out over a much wider area of the slopes of the hill and surrounding hills as well. With its elevation and location, this locality dominates over the area of Vinica, providing for a very special feature of the city. Although rather small by size, Vinica Fortress contains great richness of artifacts and samples that can be used to reconstruct the life in this antique settlement.

Hence, a conclusion has been drawn that life in this area has existed during an undoubtedly long period of time - since the early Stone Age (Neolithic period), all the way to the mature medieval period. The majority of the testimonies found at the location of Vinica Fortress belong to the late-antique period. Most interest and initiatives for its detailed research and scientific work has been caused by the numerous terra cotta reliefs, with iconographical representations, scenes from the Old and New Testament and illustrated psalms (36, 41, 65, 79). These icons made of terra cotta have Latin titles and writings.

Their styling characteristics point towards the middle of the VI century and these are the only articles of such type that have been found here, otherwise not characteristic to Byzantine soil. They probably originate from the west. Complete or parts of such terra cotta relief have been found in-between waste materials between the walls of a small medieval church in the Vinica archeological locality.

Since these types of icons are unique, they have priceless archeological, artistic and theological value, and they awake great interest and curiosity around the world. These constructions have been built out of stone and limestone mortar.

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