The Institute of History, Czech Academy of Sciences

Research Centre of Courts and Residences in the Middle Ages


Focuses on research of the courtly problem in the medieval period and follows the sovereign and noble courts, including the courts of ecclesiastical dignitaries. Besides the elementary approach of the study of the composition and personnel, it examines the everydayness within the phenomenon of the courtly-chivalric culture, art history and literature.

The crucial, as-yet incompletely treated and unresolved themes, which the Research Centre deals with, include, besides the observation of the structurally personnel form of the courtly milieu of the individual courts, inseparably the issue of everydayness and the history of mentalities, where it focuses mainly on
- the issue of women and children in courtly society
- monitoring living standards in cooperation with archaeological research projects
- the investigation of residential classification and spatial arrangement and hierarchy of courtly society
- the importance and application of the church and Christianity
- the use and making accessible courtly literature in the historical and literary-historical contexts.

The research based on such an approach sets its aim to capture and evaluate courtly – chivalric culture and the individual courtly centres both in the period context and in the overall importance of the civilization process of society. With international cooperation, also foreign researchers attend the colloquia and also contribute to deeper knowledge and comparison of the development in the study of the behaviour of courtly society, the sovereigns, aristocracy and church in the European context.

The Research Centre of Courts and Residences in the Middle Ages assures interdisciplinary cooperation with other researchers and research institutions, who participate in the organization of individual colloquia, discussion meetings and publication activities on the courtly issue. A component of the research centre is the scientific commission, which has its task of supporting scientific and professional cooperation of historians, archivists, archaeologists, philologists, German and Czech studies scholars within interdisciplinary research on the themes of courtly research the main outcomes of which are interdisciplinary and international colloquia with the subsequent publication outputs. The members of the commission are researchers from the fields of history, archaeology, art history, classical philology, German and Czech studies.