Chapter

Ruins

Rudy Koshar

in From Monuments to Traces

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2000 | ISBN: 9780520217683
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520922525 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520217683.003.0003
Ruins

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This chapter examines the significance of ruins in the German memory landscape, the most imposing and creative feature of which was the ruin. The ruin, even when it was under attack by those who wanted to restore crumbled castles and churches, could still impart a sense of immortality. It played an important role in the art of the Renaissance and in Romanticism, but the modern age had isolated the ruin and transformed its significance. World War I ruins were used to signify German cultural superiority, and in urban planning, the ruin was employed only as part of a larger complex devoted to change and movement. The ruins of cities are not only reminders of the German army's powerful artillery, but of German planners' superior skills of reconstruction.

Keywords: ruins; memory landscape; Renaissance; Romanticism; World War I; urban planning; reconstruction

Chapter.  23105 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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