During World War 2 Rome was declared to be an "open city" but I do not know what this means. What rules are there in an open city? Who controls it or is it neutral? I want to know what happens when a city is declared an "open city".

  • 3
    vote to close ... not that this isn't a great question. it is. who hasn't read a history of ww2 and wondered what it meant when a city was declared an "open city"? but the answer is so easily found on wikipedia ... and this site's policy isn't to duplicate wiki articles Jul 23, 2013 at 21:57
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it does not show any research effort
    – Louis Rhys
    Jul 24, 2013 at 2:59
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    vote to close. a quick search on any major search engine shows that en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_city is at least on the first page. this shows little research effort and is more of a "define this term for me" question.
    – franklin
    Jul 24, 2013 at 3:37
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    also i hope +1 wasn't a question upvote. questions should be upvoted for content not for membership.
    – franklin
    Jul 24, 2013 at 3:38

2 Answers 2


If you google Open City, you'll find the answer

In war, in the event of the imminent capture of a city, the government/military structure of the nation that controls the city will sometimes declare it an open city, thus announcing that they have abandoned all defensive efforts.

The attacking armies of the opposing military will then be expected not to bomb or otherwise attack the city, but simply to march in. The concept aims at protecting the historic landmarks and civilians who dwell in the city from an unnecessary battle.

An open city is not contested; the city government declares that they have no intention of resisting the occupier.


Basically that the city has abandoned defense. It was done because of the history of the city and the desire not to have it bombed.


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