European culture park Bliesbruck-Reinheim
The European Culture Park Bliesbruck-Reinheim (French: Parc Archéologique Européen de Bliesbruck-Reinheim ) is an archeology park that stretches on both sides of the German-French border between the places Reinheim ( Saarland ) and Bliesbruck ( Département Moselle ). Finds from different eras are excavated and presented in a museum in the 700,000 m² park area. The most important are a Celtic princess grave as well as a small town settlement ( vicus ) and a palace villa, both from Roman times. Every year around 50,000 visitors visit the park, making it one of the most important cultural and tourism institutions in the rural region.
History of the park
The first excavations on the site took place between 1806 and 1809 on the "Heidenhübel" in the area of the Roman palace villa of Reinheim. In the years 1952 to 1955 five Roman lime kilns were excavated on the "Katzenbuckel" in Reinheim. Reinheim became known nationwide through the discovery of the princess grave from the early La Tène period (370 BC) in a gravel and sand pit in 1954. Ten years later, during road construction work in Reinheim, a late Bronze Age hoard (9th century BC) was found. . The remains of a small-town settlement from Roman times were also discovered in 1971 during gravel and sand mining north of Bliesbruck in the “Steinfelder” district . In the first few years, the finds were unsystematically partly recovered and partly excavated. In 1978 the complex was classified as an emergency excavation, which was worked on by Prof. Friedrich Hiller (Chair of Classical Archeology at Saarland University ) and Jean Schaub (from Sarreguemines ) and has been researched continuously since 1983. In 1987 the systematic excavations began in the Roman palace villa in Reinheim.
In 1989 the European Culture Park / Parc Archéologique Européen Bliesbruck-Reinheim was founded. In the same year, the French Ministry of Culture added the park to the list of the most important archaeological sites in France . In 1993, a protective structure was built over the Roman thermal baths of Bliesbruck to protect the original findings and present them in a museum. In 1999 the accessible reconstruction of the Celtic princess burial mound opened . Three years later, the western artisan quarter in the vicus of Bliesbruck was presented in a preserved form. Between 2006 and 2013 three outbuildings of the Reinheim palace villa were reconstructed. In 2007 the opening of a new exhibition center (called CREX) with the special exhibition “From Pompeii to Bliesbruck - Life in Roman Europe” with 83,000 visitors took place.
Director of the French side is Jean-Paul Petit. On the German side, the excavations between 1987 and 1992 were initially led by Erwin Strahl, then until 2011 by Florian Sărăţeanu-Müller. Michael Ecker followed him. Andreas Stinsky has been the museum director of the German park side since 2012. Under his leadership, the outdoor area was redesigned. a. the former interiors of the Roman palace villa were filled with gravel to improve didactics and visual perception. In addition, a permanent exhibition on the Roman villa was set up for the first time and the exhibition rooms in Maison Jean Schaub were completely renovated.
Bearer of the park
The European Cultural Park is operated jointly by the General Council of the French Department of Moselle and the European Cultural Park Foundation. The project is also supported by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Saarland and the municipality of Gersheim . The initiator and spiritual founder of the European Culture Park is Jean Schaub from Sarreguemines .
Museums and preserved excavation findings
CREX (Exhibition Center / Center d'Éxposition)
In the heart of the park there is an exhibition center, which on the one hand shows finds from the small Roman town, and on the other houses an exciting special exhibition every year.
Maison Jean Schaub
The permanent exhibition in the small museum building gives an overview of the settlement history of the Bliesgau from the Stone Age through the Bronze and Iron Ages to the Roman era. In the building there is also a tourist information office and a decentralized information point of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Bliesgau.
Celtic princess grave
In the 1950s, while mining sand and gravel, three eroded monumental grave mounds from Celtic times were found. A hill hid the remains of a lady who was given masterfully decorated gold jewelry and other valuable gifts, including imported goods from distant regions of Europe. The grave dates from the early La Tène period around 370 BC. The three burial mounds were reconstructed in their original dimensions in 1999. The hill of the princess is accessible, whereby one gets a uniquely staged view into the burial chamber.
Roman palace villa
Since 1987 the remains of a villa from Roman times have been excavated, which with 7 hectares (70,000 m²) is one of the largest of its kind in the Saar-Moselle region. Almost completely excavated, it is a prime example of rural domiciles of the Gallo-Roman upper class. To illustrate the size and shape of this estate, which existed between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, individual parts are being reconstructed. The finds from the villa and interesting facts about this special type of building can be found on the upper floor of the tavern, which is housed in a reconstructed outbuilding.
Roman small town (vicus) with thermal baths
On the French side of the park, the remains of a Roman street settlement (vicus) with a small town character, which existed between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, have been excavated since 1971. The ancient name of this settlement, where around 2000 people lived during its heyday, is not known. The inhabitants of the vicus were primarily craftsmen who lived in strip houses along the streets, which also housed the workshops. In the center of the settlement stood next to a basilica and a representative fountain system, public baths based on the Mediterranean model.
Buildings on the border
In 2015 the exhibition building on the border was opened. The thematic focus of the building in the middle of the park on the German-French border is on the history of the park and the European idea.
The park offers a wide range of events, especially for school classes. In addition to the annual “Ancient Spectacle”, in which the everyday world of antiquity is illustrated through stands and demonstrations by reenactment groups, various adventure days on the subjects of archeology, history, nature and culture are offered. Since 2013, a hot air balloon and kite festival has also been held on the park grounds in summer.
The European cultural park Bliesbruck-Reinheim is not only a museum and a park but also an archaeological research center. The focus of the scientific work is not only on the excavations in the park area, but also on the surrounding area. The aim is to understand and understand the settlement development in the entire region. In view of the continuity of settlement from the Bronze Age to the present day, with significant finds from almost all epochs, the settlement chamber of Bliesbruck-Reinheim is one of the most important prehistoric and early historical sites in Central Europe. The European Cultural Park thus represents a European center of archaeological research. The individual projects are carried out in cooperation with other research institutions.
With the BLESA volumes, the park has had its own series of scientific publications since 1993, with which research work is published.
- Jean Schaub and Jean-Paul Petit: Bliesbrücken. Gallo-Roman settlement in Lorraine , Sarreguemines 1984
- Florian Sărățeanu-Müller: A Franco-German archeology park : Reinheim and Bliesbrück . In: Vera Rupp , Heide Birley (Hrsg.): Country life in Roman Germany. Theiss, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-8062-2573-0 , pp. 110-113.
- Andreas Stinsky: “The Reinheim villa. A rural domicile of the Gallo-Roman upper class ”, Nünnerich-Asmus-Verlag, Mainz 2016, ISBN 978-3-945751-20-6
- Andreas Stinsky: A rural domicile with a stately character. The large Gallo-Roman villa in Reinheim . In: Ancient World . Issue 5, 2013, pp. 68–75.
- Rosemarie Müller: Reinheim. In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde (RGA). 2nd Edition. Volume 24, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2003, ISBN 3-11-017575-4 , pp. 379-381.
- »Treasures of the country« Bliesbruck-Reinheim and its European cultural park. In the valley of the Celtic princess. Documentation, 30 min. A film by Wolfgang Felk, camera: Peter Stenger, production: SR Fernsehen (program cooperation SWR ), first broadcast: November 4, 2006.
- Literature about the European cultural park Bliesbruck-Reinheim in the Saarland bibliography
- Saarland Museum of Prehistory and Early History in Saarbrücken : here are the finds z. B. exhibited from the princess grave in Reinheim.
- Pagan wall at Celtic worlds
- Josef Keller: The discovery of Roman lime kilns near Reinheim (St. Ingbert district) . In: Journal for the history of the Saar region , vol. 14, Saarbrücken 1964, pp. 206–217
- Josef Keller: The Celtic princely grave of Reinheim . In: Saarbrücker Hefte , 1, Saarbrücken 1955, p. 62 ff.
- Jean Schaub; Jean-Paul Petit: Bliesbrücken. Gallo-Roman settlement in Lorraine , Sarreguemines 1984, p. 21