Histories, Spaces and Heritages at the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Greek state



This project explores the historical trajectories of urban space from the Ottoman Empire to the modern Greek State. The histories and/or ‘stories’ of this shifting urban space are studied in their intersensorial dimension, highlighting the dynamic interplay between materiality and its multifaceted conceptualizations.

Starting from the 19th century, Ottoman urban space, which traditionally comprised of bordering and/or overlapping social and spatial units (parishes, neighborhoods etc.) that formed a dense network of public buildings and spaces (mosques, churches, marketplaces, shrines, cemeteries etc.), was already in a process of intensive transformation. This major change that Ottoman urban centers experienced was a result of the reforms and the broader modernization programme that was implemented by the Ottoman state.
In the post-Ottoman world the abovementioned spatial units have been erased or only partially preserved and developed into contemporary lieux de memoire, heavily influenced by key concepts of modernity, such as ‘antiquity’, ‘monument’, and ‘cultural heritage’. Although, in their current status, ‘Ottoman monuments’ merely constitute fragmented traces of the past, they often turn into fields of ideological and political debate, both on a local and trans-local level, highlighting the active role of recent past in influencing the current public sphere.

The aim of the project is twofold:
  • To concentrate on the development of a methodological model for studying the sensory history of Ottoman urban spaces in transition.
  • To explore the contemporary politics of historical memory as articulated in the Greek and European public sphere, through the opening up of a dialogue with the broader community of professionals and practitioners.

Partnership and funding

The project’s main partners are the research team sonorCities, the Heritage Management Organization and the French School at Athens (École Française d’Athènes), which is the host institution and currently funds the project within the scope of its five-year funding scheme, 2017-2021.

Scientific Coordinators

Elias Kolovos, Dept of History and Archeology, University of Crete
Panagiotis C. Poulos, Dept of Turkish and Modern Asian Studies, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens / sonorCities


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



1) 09/02/2017- Conférence V. Déroche, N. Vatin, E. Zachariadou

 Conférence / Διάλεξη   Jeudi 09 février Πέμπτη 09 Φεβρουαρίου 19:00 Constantinople 1453. Des Byzantins aux Ottomans : autour d’un livre Vincent Déroche CNRS Nicolas Vatin EPHE / CNRS Ελισάβετ Ζαχαριάδου Πανεπιστήμο Κρήτης Salle des conférences de l’EFA / Αίθουσα διαλέξεων της EFA       À l’aube du 29 mai 1453, après un siège spectaculaire de presque deux mois, les troupes du sultan ottoman Mehmed II entraient dans Constantinople, mettant fin à l’empire millénaire de Byzance. Un monde basculait, et Constantinople devint capitale ottomane. L’événement fit à l’époque grande impression et fut par la suite surchargé de significations dans l’histoire universelle : on y voyait notamment, avec la consécration de la puissance ottomane, la fin du Moyen Âge et les débuts de l’époque moderne. Ce livre remet en perspective ce moment catalyseur, et de la façon la plus vivante qui soit : par les textes. Pour la première fois en français, il rassemble les sources grecques, ottomanes et occidentales, mises en contexte et éclairées à la lumière des derniers états de la recherche. Elles témoignent ensemble de la bataille, de ses suites immédiates et de sa postérité à plus long terme, jusque dans ses dimensions légendaires.     CONTACTS Sophia Zoumboulaki Assistante administrative pour la Direction des Études This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloak82d0f2c5a93b95e84bd517cac2b28064').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addy82d0f2c5a93b95e84bd517cac2b28064 = 'sophia.zoumboulaki' + '@'; addy82d0f2c5a93b95e84bd517cac2b28064 = addy82d0f2c5a93b95e84bd517cac2b28064 + 'efa' + '.' + 'gr'; var addy_text82d0f2c5a93b95e84bd517cac2b28064 = 'sophia.zoumboulaki' + '@' + 'efa' + '.' + 'gr';document.getElementById('cloak82d0f2c5a93b95e84bd517cac2b28064').innerHTML += ''+addy_text82d0f2c5a93b95e84bd517cac2b28064+''; + 30 210 36 79 904 Nolwenn Grémillet Communication This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. document.getElementById('cloak32138eebe9907752133c49820893cdd3').innerHTML = ''; var prefix = 'ma' + 'il' + 'to'; var path = 'hr' + 'ef' + '='; var addy32138eebe9907752133c49820893cdd3 = 'nolwenn.gremillet' + '@'; addy32138eebe9907752133c49820893cdd3 = addy32138eebe9907752133c49820893cdd3 + 'efa' + '.' + 'gr'; var addy_text32138eebe9907752133c49820893cdd3 = 'nolwenn.gremillet' + '@' + 'efa' + '.' + 'gr';document.getElementById('cloak32138eebe9907752133c49820893cdd3').innerHTML += ''+addy_text32138eebe9907752133c49820893cdd3+''; + 30 210 36 79 943  

Read online

Exposition EFA 175

Archaeology in Greece ONLINE

Messara Museum, Gortyna

Messara Museum, Gortyna. Stella Mandalaki (ΚΓ’ ΕΠΚΑ) reports on discoveries made during the construction of the new Messara Museum. Of particular interest was the area NW of the planned museum, where ancient walls extend to the S. Ancient structures had previously been discovered here in 2000.

In the above-mentioned section, excavation works proceeded 2.60m–3.50m deep to the N and 1.30–1.60m to the S. The surface...

A collaborative project with the BSA.