Medieval Palace Cities in Japan, Europe and the Middle East

Monday 4 Mar 2019 - Thursday 7 Mar 2019 |

Budapest, Visegrad and Estergom, Hungary

Organised by

Professor Morgan Pitelka
University of North Carolina

Professor Simon Kaner
Sainsbury Institute

Dr Charlotte Horlyk
SOAS, University of London

About the Conference

This conference aims to begin to develop a research agenda on palace cities (urban agglomerates with kingly or aristocratic residences at their core), bringing together and unprecedentedly wide range of sites from Japan, Europe and the Muslim world to create a broad comparative context. Some palace-cities contained sovereign residences, while others contained the residences of regional or even religious rulers.

Conference participants will focus on three primary areas. First, we are interested in the architectural and topographical relationship between palaces and cities in relation to the articulation of power. Second, we examine the extent to which there were characteristically urban aspects of rituals of power in palace-cities. Third, we excavate the role of material culture, its manufacture, display, and collection, in articulating the power of palace-cities.

Our goal is to create a compelling analysis of the palace-city as an urban form in pre-modern Japan, Europe and the Middle East that will suggest future research directions in these and other areas of global history.

The programme (Hungarian language version) can be found here.

Sponsored by:

Toshiba International Foundation




Japan Foundation Budapest Office






And the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures


Pastimes and Pleasures in the Eastern Hills of Kyoto (Alternate Title: 東山遊楽図屏風)
Japan, Genna era, 1615-1624
Paintings; screens. Six-panel folding screen; ink, color and gold on paper
Image: 60 1/8 x 138 3/8 in. (152.72 x 351.47 cm); Overall: 66 3/8 x 144 in. (168.59 x 365.76 cm);
Closed: 66 3/8 x 24 1/2 x 4 1/4 in. (168.59 x 62.23 x 10.8 cm)
Gift of the 2005 Collectors Committee (M.2005.29)
Japanese Art, LACMA