Vinicko Kale (Vinica Fortress, Виничко Кале) – Archaeological site near Vinica

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Vinicko Kale (Vinica Fortress, Виничко Кале) archaeological site is located southwest of the city of Vinica on a high hill which dominates the entire area.

The site is extremely important thanks to the discovered terracotta icons in 1985.


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This discovery opens a new page early Christian art in Macedonia and beyond. The basic features of terracotta icons are: dimensions 32 x 28 x 4 cm (square) and 32 x 20 x 4 (rectangular) derived from the mold and high relief.
So far have been discovered about 20 scenes, 50 complete and 250 or so fragments in more lines. Icons are made in a workshop within the city complex that stretches the neighboring hills to the west are precisely the site Oreovo at village Leski.
It should also be noted that the icons were applied to the walls of sacred objects (some of them preserved the original wallpaper and plaster), tombs, etc.
According to iconographic analysis icons are placed in: Old Testament scenes, illustrated psalms, Christological notions and representations of characters of Christian saints and scenes from famous military confrontations.
The stylistic peculiarities, ie with high relief are experiencing extraordinary plasticity of provincial and local art stylish expression formed under the strong influence of the Orient. All icons are associated with Latin texts on the edges of them, and texts describing scenes or character incorporating concise theological messages.
The general feature of this plan Vinica Terracotta’s victory over evil and death and triumph over all enemies of the faith. Everything said above is confirmed by the fact that Roman iconography and the presence of the Latin text speaks of the dominant influence of the Roman Church in Bregalnitza area during the Early Byzantine period.
Terracotta icons from Vinica are compared to quality to terracotta icons from France, the Loire Valley, in Italy, and famous terracotta icons from Tunis located in the Bardo Museum.


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