Urban Palaces of the Nobility in Early Modern Europe (1400-1750)

27 oct. 2017, Mechelen (Belgique)

Lamot, Centre de Congrès et de Patrimoine

9h30 – 18h


European palaces in the early modern era were more than mere residences of monarchs and high nobility. They represent one link in a broader residential system, where each element plays a particular role in place and time. Papers can explore urban palaces as part of this residential system and their functioning together with other residences. Which role do these urban palaces play and what is their place in the residential network of the nobility ?
Moreover, urban palaces were centers of power with a representative role, carriers of symbols of social and political authority. Case-studies might address how the location, architecture and internal organization reflect the high standing and prestige of the owner as well as possible interaction between the noble residences and the palaces of the reigning prince (emulation aspects ?). How is architecture used to express power to the contemporary observer ? Can we deduce from this similarities or discontinuities with contemporary court residences ? Or, in other words, are there typological similarities between these residences, transcending the boundaries of one city ?


Setting the scene (keynote)
Dagmar Eichberger (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg), “The Court in Mechelen. A Hub of Political and Cultural Activities within a Network of Aristocratic Residences”


Session 1 : Urban Presences. The European Nobility and its Palaces in Town
Renate Leggatt-Hofer (Vienna), “Palais of the international high aristocracy in Vienna since the 1530s”
Stephan Hoppe (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), “Living nobly downtown. 15th and 16th-century urban palaces (Stadthöfe) in the Rhineland”
Alain Salamagne (Université François-Rabelais, Tours), “Du duc de Berry à Jacques Cœur, les palais de Bourges”
Krista De Jonge (KU Leuven), “From Bruges to Mechelen. Burgundian and Habsburg noble palaces and their representative features”


Session 2 : Between Town and Country. The European Nobility and its Residence System(s)
Barbara Arciszewska (University of Warsaw), “Residences of Polish-Lithuanian nobility in Crown cities and private towns (1400-1750)”
Nuno Senos (Universidade Nova de Lisboa), “The ducal town of Vila Viçosa : a palace in its urban context”
Sanne Maekelberg (KU Leuven), “Heaven on earth – Charles of Croÿ (1560-1612) and his palace in Beaumont”
Bernardo García García (Universidad Complutense de Madrid/Fundación Carlos de Amberes), “Architecture at the Service of Royal Favourite. The Duke of Lerma’s Residential System (1599-1618)”


Closing words
Konrad Ottenheym (University of Utrecht)