Imperial Cities: The Tsarist Empire, the Habsburg Empire and the Ottoman Empire in Comparison

German Historical Institute (DHI) Moscow
Eszter Gantner (Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung – Institut der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft); Ulrich Hofmeister (Universität Wien, Institut für Osteuropäische Geschichte); DGO – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde e.V.; DHI Moskau – Deutsches Historisches Institut Moskau; VOH – Verband der Osteuropahistorikerinnen und -historiker e.V.
26.04.2018 - 27.04.2018
Ulrich Hofmeister

Urban history research has recently experienced increasing interest in “imperial” questions. One expression that is used over and over again is the “imperial city”. While this term has so far primarily been applied to the European metropolises of the western colonial empires, this conference aims to analyze the phenomenon of the imperial city in the context of the continental empires of Eastern Europe, such as the Habsburg Monarchy, the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire. Since these empires do not draw a clear distinction between “colony” and “motherland”, we suggest therefore that “imperial cities” can be understood as particular cities where empire manifests itself, which are also marked by the imperial form of the state. This conference analyses traces of Empire not only in the metropolises of Vienna, Istanbul or St. Petersburg, but also in provincial cities like Kazan, Zagreb or Salonika.


Thursday, April 26

9:30-10:00 Opening

DHI Moscow: Welcome

Gabriele FREITAG (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde): Welcome

Eszter GANTNER (Herder Institute Marburg) / Ulrich HOFMEISTER (Vienna University): Introduction

10:00-13:00 Panel 1: Cityscapes

Chair: Julia OBERTREIS (Verband der Osteuropa-Historikerinnen und -historiker / Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg)

Keynote: Ilya GERASIMOV (Ab Imperio)

Clemena ANTONOVA (Sofia University): Jewish Cityscapes in St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Istanbul as Models of In/ex/clusion

Florian RIEDLER (Giessen University): Niš as an Imperial Border City between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans

Gulchachak NUGMANOVA (Research Institute of the Theory and History of Architecture and Town Planning, Moscow): Imperial Power, Imperial Identity and Kazan Architecture: Visualizing the Empire in Nineteenth Century Russian Province

Robert BORN (GWZO Leipzig): Divide et impera? Imperial Representation in the Banat Capital during the 18th Century and its Legacy

15:00-18:00 Panel 2: Afterlife of Empires

Chair: Piro REXHEPI (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen)

Keynote: Heidemarie UHL (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

Nilay ÖZLÜ (Boğaziçi University Istanbul): The Imperial Palaces in comparative perspective during the 19th and early-20th centuries: The Topkapi Palace, the Kremlin Palace, and the Hofburg Palace

Jovana KNEŽEVIĆ: (Standford University): From Imperial Outpost to Multinational Capital: The Transformation of Belgrade, 1860s-1930s

Olga ZABALUEVA (Linköping University): (De)constructing imperial heritage: Moscow Zaryadye in times of transition

Nikolina ŠIMETIN ŠEGVIĆ / Filip ŠIMETIN ŠEGVIĆ (Zagreb University): Zagreb: The (Un)usual Case of a Local Imperial Centre?

Friday, April 27

09:00-12:00 Panel 3: Modernisation

Chair: Gabriele FREITAG (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde)

Keynote: Edhem ELDEM (Boğaziçi University Istanbul)

Alexis HOFMEISTER (Basel University): Four situative cosmopolitan cityscapes – one paradigm? Ethnic and non-Ethnic spaces in late Imperial Riga, Salonika, Triest and Odessa

Aida MURTIĆ (Heidelberg University): Reconfiguring the urban and the monumental: (Bi)imperial modernisations in Sarajevo

Michel ABESSER (Freiburg University): Imperial Cities Merging - Rostov and Nakhichevan in the 19th and early 20th century”

Attila AYTEKIN (Middle East Technical University Ankara): From Imperial City to National Capital: ‘Cosmopolitanism’ and Its Demise in Belgrade and Ankara

12:30-13:30 Conclusion

Eszter GANTNER (Herder Institute Marburg) / Ulrich HOFMEISTER (Vienna University): Concluding remarks


Ulrich Hofmeister

Vienna University, Institute fo Eastern European History

Imperial Cities: The Tsarist Empire, the Habsburg Empire and the Ottoman Empire in Comparison, 26.04.2018 – 27.04.2018 Moscow, in: H-Soz-Kult, 12.03.2018, <>.
Editors Information
Published on