This article analyses the marks that the old imperial borders have left in the geography of current social practices. The study carried out in Central and Eastern Europe on the effects of these historic borders provides an occasion to relaunch the current debate of geo-historical differences, and the scientific foundations of areas studies. The article begins by laying out the theoretical issues of the «phantom» metaphore, then presents a case study on the role of historical borders in everyday life in rural Romania. From there, the author derives new theoretical propositions and show that the historical traces in current geographical space also result from social visions of the future.
Keywords: Area culturale, Mappe mentali, Confini; Europa centrale e orientale, Balcanismo.