Call for Papers

Virtual Palaces Part II. Lost Palaces and their Afterlife. Virtual Reconstruction between Science and Media

13–15 April 2012, Munich, Germany

About Palatium

This workshop is part of the ESF Research Networking Programme PALATIUM: Court Residences as Places of Exchange in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe (1400–1700). The PALATIUM programme aims at creating a common forum for research on the late medieval and early modern European court residence or ‘palace’ (palatium) with an interdisciplinary perspective. The world of the courts 1400–1700 constituted a network of truly European scale and international character, but its architecture is only rarely studied in its ‘connectivity’. Here the ‘palace’ is seen as a place for cultural exchange. Human interaction in this space is regulated and codified by a set of rules, known as ‘ceremonial’. The interaction between palace architecture (tangible) and ceremonial (intangible, but known through a set of tangible testimonials of different types, written and visual) is one of the key questions the PALATIUM network aims to address. The palace’s space and form carry multiple connotations. To the informed observer they represent power, lineage, and tradition versus innovation. The decoding of this system of signs necessitates input not only by architectural and art historians, but also by various other disciplines, such as archaeology, politics, literature, theatre and music. The PALATIUM programme wants to encourage theoretical and methodological debates in the field, and aims in particular at stimulating exchanges of knowledge and experience between historians, architectural historians, art historians, and researchers in related disciplines – thus building up a network of scholars, institutions and research groups across Europe which mirrors the international network of courts that is being examined.

Call for Papers 

Deadline January 15th 2012

Virtual Palaces is the central theme of two consecutive PALATIUM workshops held in Leuven (Belgium in November 2011) and Munich (Germany):

Part II, Lost Palaces and their Afterlife. Virtual Reconstruction between Science and Media (Munich, 13‐15 April 2012) will focus on virtual reconstructions of ‘lost’ buildings and their role in research on court residences.

Both workshops belong to section WPM3 of the PALATIUM programme: ‘Reconstructing the Palace as Virtual Heritage’. For further information on the various topics and working parties of PALATIUM, see

The aims of the Munich workshop (as pdf

After the Leuven workshop, which focused on the digital recording and modelling of extant buildings, the Munich workshop will explore the possibilities and limitations of virtual reconstructions of ‘lost’ palaces.

Virtual reconstructions play a decisive role in the exploration of residential and courtly architecture. Especially in the communication of scientific results, ‘non‐built’ media such as reconstruction drawings, plans, images, and films are of considerable importance. Scientific problems such as reconstructing a historical state, clarifying the disposition of the spaces, tracing networks of relationships, or communicating results to a wider audience, all depend on representations of lost or missing states of a building, and thus rely on virtual reconstructions of one form or another. These reconstructions therefore play a significant role in the understanding of court residences and their architecture. The range of such virtual reconstructions has expanded considerably through the use of digital models. Digital techniques are increasingly being used for testing hypothetical models and for representational purposes. Especially the combination and integration of different digital platforms, databases, thematic maps, GIS techniques, CAD drawings, renderings and films offers a high potential for innovation.

This workshop wants to examine the properties, possibilities, and limitations of the various methods and technologies for virtual reconstruction. What perspectives does the use of digital models offer for scientific research and for the presentation of research results? The workshop aims at addressing a wide scope of issues related to virtual modelling and reconstruction of late medieval and early modern court residences, structured in the following four sections:

I. Typology and use of virtual models of residential architecture

This introductory section aims at providing an overview of past and current types of virtual models, their uses and their audiences, within the context of courtly architecture. Some principal questions are: Who uses virtual models? For what audience are they made? How can virtual reconstructions be used in other media? How can they be extended? In which fields are they used? What is their current role in art education?

II. Virtual models as knowledge spaces

Virtual reconstructions can be understood and elaborated as knowledge spaces. They can contain additional information such as construction data, historical sources or other documents, in a multidimensional context. The visually presented space can thus be enriched by a variety of meta‐information. This way it acts as a spatially organized interface that links to an underlying knowledge base. How can such knowledge spaces be used for research on residences? How should they be organized and managed? What kind of extensions or visual spaces can be created by connecting with external databases, e.g. through internet links?

III. Sharpness versus uncertainty in virtual models

Virtual models are dependent on various aspects of the media used. More particularly, the scientific value of a virtual reconstruction largely depends on the way it deals with uncertainty. How can various degrees of (un)certainty be visualized? How should one deal with lost or unknown areas of the building? Can lack of knowledge be integrated and displayed? Are there significant differences between reconstructions based on the results of building archaeology and those that are based on written and/or pictorial sources? How can the desire for a ‘complete’ virtual model be reconciled with the incomplete knowledge of reality?

IV. Virtual identities

Palaces and their culture exercise strong influences on the formation of local identities, even in places where their context is largely lost. To what extent can virtual models fill such gaps? Are they able to shape identities? Can they be politically appropriated? Which historical models lie behind the virtual reconstructions? How are they used within social or cultural politics? What role does the virtuality of the models play, especially in relation to the concept of ‘recovery’ of lost heritage? Does the increased use of virtual reconstructions lead to a disconnection with the site itself, and to a decrease of regional anchorage? Do virtual models strengthen non‐regional and non‐national identities? What is the relationship between virtual and ‘real’ reconstruction?

Application Process

Abstracts are invited by 15 January 2012. All abstracts must be in English and should be limited to 300 words. Head your abstract with your name, professional affiliation, and the paper’s title. Submit with the abstract a one‐page curriculum vitae, home and work addresses, and e‐mail address.

Submit your proposal by e‐mail to the two conference chairs, Professors Stephan Hoppe (email@stephan‐ and Stefan Breitling (stefan.breitling@uni‐, with a copy to the PALATIUM coordinator, Dr. Pieter Martens (

Abstracts should define the subject and summarize the argument to be presented in the proposed paper. Each paper must be limited to 20 minutes, followed by discussion. All abstracts will be held in confidence during the selection process. Only one submission per author can be accepted. All applicants will be notified of the acceptance or rejection of their proposal by 31 January 2012.

Grants for Young Scholars

PALATIUM offers travel grants to junior researchers who want to participate in this workshop and briefly present their work in progress. The number of available grants is limited. The deadline for grant applications is 31 January 2012. All grant applications must be made online. See the PALATIUM website for more information (

Conference Chairs: Stephan Hoppe (Ludwig‐Maximilians‐Universität München)

Stefan Breitling (Otto‐Friedrich‐Universität Bamberg)

Scientific Committee: Krista De Jonge (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), PALATIUM Chair

Pieter Martens (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), PALATIUM Coordinator

Mario Santana Quintero (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)

Barbara Arciszewska (University of Warsaw)

Ethan Matt Kavaler (University of Toronto)

Coordination, Contact: Prof. Dr. Stephan Hoppe email@stephan‐