3 months ago
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
My shirt is black NOT
In the park Neskuchny sad [literally, the "Not-Boring Garden"]
Architectural Folly: Monument to the 850 Anniversary of Moscow
Quickly on this guy: it's called a folly because that's the name for anything that's built to look like a Classical monument that's withstood the winds of time. Obviously, this was built in the middle of the 20th century, not by the Greeks. The thought is, nevertheless, build something in this strict Classical manner, stick in the middle of nowhere (this is DEEP within Neskuchny), and the first impression a person will have of it is "woah, check out this ancient monument." It's a common architectural, psychological game, to make the monument seem that much more important, that much cooler.
I actually like this bad boy. The exterior has bas-reliefs of Dolgoruky and other founders of the city, those who defended her from Tatar and Polish invaders. The interior, then, has images from the 1917 Revolution, and from World War II.
My gut reaction: "Typical Soviet, tying themselves back to the dawn of history, saying that there's nothing else important."
Quickly on the heels of that first thought: "Well, wait a second. How do I expect those who conceived of this monument to be able to choose the highlights of all of the years Moscow's stood?"
And then, looking at what it's meant to be - a monument to the 850 years of Moscow's existence, it makes sense to only show things from the founding and from the most recent time. It says: "This is a time capsule. This is what it was like when You, Forefathers, were at work; and now we, your potomki, have defended Her against all of these threats, real and perceived." Well. I guess the Whites were also real threats to the Bolsheviks. To Moscow - maybe not as much of a threat as the iconoclasts. Anyway. It's cool. We're friends, this folly and I.
potom - then, later
potomok, potomki (singular, plural) - descendant(s)