Europe is at a turning point in its history. Questions about its unity and diversity are more relevant today than ever. This series of talks will address the concept of Europe through a number of its most characteristic and idiosyncratic cities. It will discuss the evolution of their ground plans as well as the stories of their inhabitants and visitors, and it will explore their architectural and artistic heritages.
“Please convey my huge admiration and gratitude to Andrew for the lecture this week. It was fascinating, wide-ranging and so informative. Brilliant! I had no idea when I signed up for this course that the lectures would be so multi-faceted and would inform and guide us across the vast sweep of human history in a digestible way!”
14 Jan 2025 – Krakow
Intellectual and cultural capital of central Europe in the Middle Ages. The alma mater of Copernicus and the home of Polish resistance during the 123 years when Poland was consumed by the Prussian, Russian and Hapsburg Empires (1795-1918)
21 Jan 2025 – Bologna
Home to the first university in the world, with unique historical cabinets of curiosity to reflect its on-going engagement with the arts and sciences, as well as law and cuisine. The city is characterised by its many miles of arcaded pavements which give it the air of a Renaissance ‘ideal city’.
28 Jan 2025 – Venice
Much to the surprise of a 21st century visitor, Venice was considered to be something of a ‘dump’ in the 19th century, infested with drop-outs, ne’er-do-wells and infectious diseases in equal measure. Nor did it have a classical pre-history to boast about. Why then do we now see it as one of the jewel cities of Europe?
04 Feb 2025 – Seville
Lying at the southernmost tip of Europe, Seville is richly endowed with diverse monuments, traditions and neighbourhoods that capture its unique and passionate history: flamenco dancing, bull-fighting and fervent Catholic devotion have all left indelible marks on the city.
11 Feb 2025 – Moscow
A ‘riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’. Churchill’s assessment of Russia is manifest in its capital city, the site of great monuments to Christian Orthodoxy as well as the nation’s political ambitions in the tsarist, soviet and modern periods. Each of the trends that makes up the city’s complex history – from its staunchly conservative religiosity to its unbridled avant-garde experimentalism are represented here.
18 Feb 2025 – St Petersburg
Famously regarded as a ‘window on to the West’, St. Petersburg was an experiment in Russian political state-craft, attempting to forge a link between Russia and Europe that would change the relationship of East and West forever. Did it work? And if so, how? If not, why not?
25 Feb 2025 – Budapest
Following years of subjugation to the Ottoman and Hapsburg Empires, Budapest emerged as the capital of a new country in the nineteenth century and it was rebuilt to reflect its new independence. It continues to be one of the greatest Art Nouveau cities in Europe, though the material fabric of the city also tells stories of many other periods – not least in relation to its Soviet overlords, following the Second World War.
04 Mar 2025 – Munich
The capital of Bavaria since the 16th century, the city continues to be one of the driving forces in European history, combining a rich cultural history with a central role in the political and technological development of Germany, Europe and the world.