Court culture and street lighting in seventeenth-century Europe

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Europe's first street lighting has been studied exclusively in local and practical terms. Based on evidence from northern Europe and the Empire, in particular the Electorate of Saxony between the reigns of Electors John George II (1656-1680) and Frederick Augustus I (1694-1733, as Augustus II King of Poland, 1697-1733), this article examines street lighting in a broader history of the night. In Saxony, the absolutist ruler Augustus II established public street lighting in Leipzig, the leading city of his principality, in 1701. Placing Saxon street lighting in its European context illustrates a surprising set of relationships between the court, the city, and the night in seventeenth-century Europe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)743-768
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Urban History
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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