The defortification of the German city, 1689–1866

Research output: Book/ReportBook

35 Scopus citations


In the early modern period, all German cities were fortified places. Because contemporary jurists have defined “city” as a coherent social body in a protected place, the urban environment had to be physically separate from the surrounding countryside. This separation was crucial to guaranteeing the city's commercial, political, and legal privileges. Fortifications were therefore essential for any settlement to be termed a city. This book tells the story of German cities' metamorphoses from walled to defortified places between 1689 and 1866. Using a wealth of original sources, The Defortification of the German City, 1689–1866 discusses one of the most significant moments in the emergence of the modern city: the dramatic and often traumatic demolition of the city's centuries-old fortifications and the creation the open city.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages285
ISBN (Electronic)9781139162166
ISBN (Print)9781107024038
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


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