"Furnishing a foreign home: Habsburg Sarajevo’s Ottoman heritage coped with, appropriated, and displayed"

  • Date: Dec 10, 2020
  • Time: 10:30 - 12:00
  • Speaker: Maximilian Hartmuth (Universität Wien)
  • Maximilian Hartmuth is principal investigator in the ERC project “Islamic Architecture and Orientalizing Style in Habsburg Bosnia, 1878-1918” (ERC#758099, 2018-2023).
  • Location: Zoom Meeting
"Furnishing a foreign home: Habsburg Sarajevo’s Ottoman heritage coped with, appropriated, and displayed"

For more details please contact cziesielsky(at)mmg.mpg.de.

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When Austria-Hungary made Sarajevo the administrative centre of the Ottoman province it occupied in 1878, it adopted a city that – unlike Sofia or Thessaloniki – had no pre-Ottoman history to reminisce to. Looking thoroughly foreign to the first generation of soldiers and clerks dis-patched from the Habsburgs’ core provinces, later observ-ers already panned that Sarajevo was coming to look like any other provincial centre in Central Europe. What had ini-tially been perceived as an unsettling otherness, associated with centuries of antagonistic hostilities, was converted into a competitive advantage. It came to be understood as an asset not only in terms of attracting tourists, but also in demonstrating successful conciliation. For a quasi-colonial administration resolved to convince its subjects, including those of Muslim creed, that the conditions for its welfare had actually improved in comparison with Ottoman rule. Architecture was not instrumentalized to celebrate military triumph but, rather, the triumph of reason.

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