Bouzonville, Buildings of the former Abbey Sainte Croix upon the Nied
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Gilbert Philipp|
|Area1||13.9 km2 (5.4 sq mi)|
|• Density||300/km2 (770/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|INSEE/Postal code||57106 / 57320|
|Elevation||192–310 m (630–1,017 ft)
(avg. 190 m or 620 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Built on the "salt road" between the Rhine and the Moselle, at the site of an easy ford of the Nied, the site's traces of Celtic La Tène culture are most vividly represented by the "Bouzonville flagon", in which Scythian influence on Celtic craftsmenship is clearly represented in the animal that forms its handle and in the nature of coral inlays, with enamels of similar colour supplementing it, that form bands around the base and rim of the high-shouldered vessel; the beak-flagon was among a group of bronze objects from Bouzonville acquired by the British Museum in 1928. A minor Roman vicus represented by tiles that the plough turns up, complements the few signs of prehistory, though essentially pre-historic is the mute Merovingian necropolis of more than a hundred graves, holding twice as many women as men, 0.5 km (0.31 mi) east of the town; there is no trace of their habitations, which apparently supplied the villa attached to the -ville toponym. There is no agreement on the identity of the other element, apparently of one of the numerous Frankish magnates named Boso.
The village owes its real origins to the abbey founded here in 1033 by Adalbert, count of Metz and Juditha his wife; he was the grandfather of Gebhard, Duke of Lorraine, the first hereditary duke of Lorraine. Migne lists Bosonis Villa [de] S. Crucis S. Mariae, monast. ord. S. Bened. ann. 1033 a Juditha Adalberti comitio uxore... The Bosonis villa with its dependencies, is mentioned in a privilege granted to Galberga, abbess of Juviniacensis by Pope Urban II in 1096. The church of the Benedictine Abbey de Sainte-Croix de Bouzonville serves today as the parish church. In the thirteenth century the dukes of Lorraine established a court of justice here, which increased the life of the town, which depended on the abbey, which was rebuilt on its eleventh-century foundations. The Abbey of Bouzonville remained very much in the gift of the dukes of Lorraine, who were in the habit of bestowing the post of abbot in commendam on their relations to the end of the seventeenth century.
The town suffered so severely during the Thirty Years War that at the end of the seventeenth century Bouzonville numbered few more than two dozen hearths. An hôtel de ville, built in 1719 and enlarged in 1763 was symptomatic of the town's revival, as was a Jewish community, noted in 1726. The abbey was suppressed at the Revolution, the monks dispersed and the library sold. Tanneries and spinning mills developed the town's economy in the nineteenth century. The convent's buildings were restored sufficiently in 1893 to shelter a hospice. The First World War spared Bouzonville, but heavy fighting in the Second World War destroyed the bridge and 139 houses. More recently, Bouzonville has undergone a drain of its labour forces to German industry in Saar.
- There were two flagions, and bronze "wine jars" among other utensils. Reginald A. Smith, in British Museum Quarterly 4 (1929) and in Archaeologia 79 (1929) pp 1-12, with 14 illustrations; Josef Strzygowski, "Amerasiatic and Indogermanic Art" The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 68 No. 394 (January 1936), pp. 46-51, illustrated.
- Bouzonville official website; see also Ernest de Bouteiller, Dictionnaire topographique de l'ancienne département de Moselle, 1874, "Introduction" p. xl, which gives "Bouzonville, de Bosonis villa".
- Juditha of Öhningen was the daughter of Konrad, Duke of Swabia and his wife Richlint of Saxony. The Notitiae Fundationis Monasterii Bosonis-Villæ, edited by Oswald Holder-Egger and Georg Waitz, in MGH SS XV.2, (1887) pp 977-980, notes that both were buried in the abbey church. Bosonis Villa became the seat of a line of counts. (Cawley, Charles, "Upper Lotharingia, Nobility, ch. 7A, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy,[better source needed]). The Boso of Bosonis Villa is doubtless to be sought among his parentage.
- Migne, Index 3, Index Monasteriorum, 1030, noted by M. Amelia Klenke, "Nicholas Bozon" Modern Language Notes 69.4 (April 1954, pp. 256-260) p. 257.
- "Bosonis Villa, [dedicated to] the Holy Cross [and] Mary, a monastery of the Order of Saint Benedict [founded] in the year 1033 by Juditha wife of count Adalbert."
- Migne, Patrologiae cursus completus, "Urbanae II papae" cciii, col. 476. Today Juviniacum is Sainte-Euphémie; "Au XIe siècle, la terre Juviniacensis comprenait Ars et Saint Didier de Formans. Un puissant prieuré y était installé." (Valentin-Smith, quoted in La Dombes, une terre historique qui reste encore à découvrir.
- In 1699 the theologian and historian Matthieu Petit-Didier was canonically elected Abbot of Bouzonville, but could not take possession because the Duke of Lorraine had given the abbey in commendam to his brother. (Catholic Encyclopedia: "Matthieu Petit-Didier").
- Documented in Les frontaliers mosellans travaillant en Sarre 1966.
- Official website (in English)
- (Art Fund) British Museum: Collection of three bronze vessels: Bouzonville flagon illustrated, dated c. 450 BCE
- The former Abbey de Sainte-Croix de Bouzonville (in French)
- Notes on the Abbey of Bouzonville (in French)
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