Venue: Museum Catharijneconvent Utrecht, Lange Nieuwstraat 38, Utrecht (NL)
Dates: 8-9 November 2019
Chairs: José Eloy Hortal Muñoz (URJC) and Merlijn Hurx (UU)
Nowadays the ruler´s residences and convents (Royal Sites) are often seen by the general public as the curious dwellings of royal families, who lived isolated from society. However, such places were not only built for pleasure, but they belonged to a larger network of buildings and estates that together played an important role in the ruler’s administration. Apart from palaces, these domains often comprised forests, agricultural lands, watercourses and ponds, as well as defence works and industrial and commercial buildings such as mills, tollhouses, and factories. From the Middle Ages onwards, these networks of sites became increasingly important for the consolidation of the sovereign’s power, playing a key role in the promotion of their rule. To improve control over their domanial buildings and to ensure their upkeep, rulers set up permanent administrative bodies entrusted with their management. In principle, the centralization of their building management was a financial reform, however this reform should also be considered within the context of the expansion of the sovereign’s presence throughout the realm.
This symposium is a collaboration of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid (URJC), and Universiteit Utrecht (UU), and is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, the Graduate School Art History, the Royal Netherlands Society of Architectural History (KNOB), Gemeente Utrecht and Stichting Professor van Winter Fonds.