Academic Council









Sultans Trail Symposium: “Close Encounters of East and West”

August 26, 2022

The Sultans Trail Academy aims to shed light on the backgrounds and characteristics of the cultures and regions of the route through South-Eastern Europe. The region has seen many conflicts and wars. The Sultans Trail is a path of people, progress, peace and participation.

The region contains the heritage of several important cultures and empires, from ancient times through the Ottoman, Habsburg and Soviet periods. A legacy that is still noticeable in today’s modern states of South-Eastern Europe.

We have found academics from different disciplines willing to discuss different aspects of culture and history, as well as the phenomenon of travel. Their input comes from various universities both in the Netherlands and abroad, so the language of instruction will be English.

The four themes that will be discussed are:
history, culture, heritage and travel; in mutual coherence, but also with visions of the contemporary geopolitical situation.

The symposium will take place on the 26th of August 2022 in Haarlem, The Netherlands.


The 2021 Symposium had to be cancelled due to Covid, and  the definite program and line-up for 2022 is not available yet. The symposium will be chaired by dutch former minister of foreign affairs, mr. Jan Pronk. 

Professor Machiel Kiel, the restoration stonemason who became a highly renowned professor of art history, will give us a glimpse of his experiences during more than 50 years of research in the region, specializing in Osman architecture.

Professor Douwes of the (Economic) History Faculty of the Rotterdam Erasmus University takes us on a journey in history, drawing our attention towards early travel writers. Prof. Douwes today opts for: “Burkhardt’s Travels: Rediscovering Syria and the Holy Land for a Western Audience”

Guido van Hengel, historian and writer, teaching at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. He discusses last centuries’ many changes in the Western Balkan Countries.

dr. Aleksandra Terzic, from the Serbian Academy of Science and Art, presents the results of a peer-reviewed study into “Perceptions of Ottoman heritage in various European countries”. A Study for the Sultans Trail.

dr. Bas de Boer, of the University of Twente, wrote about the peace of Karlowitz, now called Sremski Karlovci, a place both walkers and cyclists on the trail will visit.  This peace treaty was brokered between the Ottoman Empire and Austria, Poland, and Venice and lasted 25 years.

Professor Dominique Vanneste , from the University of Leuven, will talk about the phenomenon of Cultural Routes as a non-traditional form of tourism. Is there enough future for such routes?

View the Sultans Trail calendar

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