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

Theater in Lemberg
Theater in Lemberg
Plakat Tagung Imperial Cities
Plakat Tagung Imperial Cities

International Conference
German Historical Institute, Moscow, April 26-27, 2018
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. Regarding the empires of Eastern Europe, this includes not only the metropolises of Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul or St. Petersburg, but also such multiethnic provincial cities as L’viv, Kazan or Sarajevo, border cities like Brody, Tiraspol or Belgrade, port cities such as İzmir, Trieste or Odessa, and many more.

Concept: Eszter Gantner (Herder Institute), Ulrich Hofmeister (University of Vienna)


  • VOH – Verband der Osteuropahistorikerinnen und -historiker e.V. / Association of Historians on East Central Europe
  • DGO – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Osteuropakunde e.V. / German Association for East European Studies
  • DHI Moskau – Deutsches Historisches Institut Moskau / German Historical Institute, Moscow
  • Herder-Institut für historische Ostmitteleuropaforschung – Institut der Leibniz-Gemeinschaft / Herder Institute for
  • Historical Research on East Central Europe – Institute of the Leibniz Association
  • Universität Wien, Institut für Osteuropäische Geschichte / University of Vienna, Institute for Eastern European History

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