Medieval Heritage of Budapest (2012)
In recent years, the situation with regard to cultural heritage issues in Budapest has become exceedingly complex due to a host of factors: there are the continuing historical and political aspects, the increasing economic possibilities, particularly with regard to tourism and the heritage “business,” and ongoing monument protection concerns. The development of a hierarchy of heritage sites (world heritage, national heritage, local heritage, etc.) has also produced very contradictionary practices concerning the ownership, institutional control, public control and scholarly research opportunities. The future of this city depends to a large extent on the ways in which its unique cultures and cultural heritages are preserved, stimulated and developed in a long-term perspective.
Therefore, the course offers an introduction to the most important medieval monuments and sites in Budapest by doing a „walking seminar” in the area of Pest, Buda, and Óbuda. Each seminar will focus on case studies in different parts of the city and after a short introduction of the given sites we will interpret the given archaeological features, buildings, and heritage sites with the students. Participants will also be confronted with heritage policy issues such as conservation, reconstruction, presentation of heritage sites, and the dissemination of related materials for scholars and the wider public.
Medieval monuments in and under the city centre of Pest (medieval town walls, Roman heritage, medieval churches)
The medieval built heritage of Buda Castle (urban houses, Dominican friary, synagogues, St. Sigismund Chapel)
Medieval royal palace (exhibition of the Budapest Historical Museum)
Roman and medieval heritage of Óbuda (Roman military centre, remains of the mediaval royal castle, urban settlement, ruins of the Franciscan friary)
Archaeological investigations in a city centre – urban archaeology in practice.
In-class test. Three short essays (half a page each) will be written on the basis of the sites that were visited and discussed. Questions will bee related to the sites, monuments, and relevant policy issues.