: 66-72
Lviv Polytechnic National University

The article presents a variable range of meanings of the concept “ruin”. The castle in the state of ruins as a historical monument is considered, and the importance of preserving this type of objects actually in the state of ruins is emphasized, explaining this by the concept of “places of memory” by P. Nora, considering ruined castles as monuments-relics and comprehending their significance in literature and folklore.
In historiography, an example of the “ruin” concept usage is the period of Ruin during the time of the Hetmanate (Hetmanshchyna), which was in the second half of the 17th century. The Ruin of the 17th century, as a period of bloody wars and the collapse of the Ukrainian Cossack state, resonates four centuries later – in the present, where entire cities of Ukraine have been turned into ruins as a result of Russian aggression. In the history of every country, there are periods of decline, which have received names-metaphors – synonymous with ruins – the “flood” in Poland, The Time of Troubles or Smuta in Russia. First of all, the concept of “flood” is the name of a natural phenomenon, “smuta” (The Time of Troubles) corresponds to the emotional state of a person. Ukrainian science, using the term “ruin”, draws attention to the unusable state of the building. In contrast to the above examples, we note that in the Ukrainian nation, it is essential to have a holistic and orderly architectural environment. The Ruin in architecture is not just a characteristic of the technical condition of a structure; it is a visual embodiment of the decline of a particular historical period. Today we observe the ruins of defence, sacred, residential and other types of structures. A different approach should be defined for each type of objects, not only in terms of architecture but also in terms of semantic load, taking into account the period and event of their destruction.

A castle-ruin is an information-rich building, which is an architectural and artistic work, an artefact of historical memory, a marking of a historical territory, a place of memory and a tourist attraction. In general, castles in a state of prolonged ruin are the ruins of not our time. They received their fragmentary appearance several centuries ago; therefore, their complete restoration is not in our power. We have the right to rethink them, and guardianship over them, their correct interpretation and exposure is our duty.
A place with preserved architectural objects better preserves the memory of the past. While all funds are directed to the restoration of a hypothetical version of a separately selected ruined castle, we are losing several other ruined castles, stone by stone, brick by brick, which are our history, architectural heritage and national identity. Ruins should not be neglected because when we lose them, we lose our memory, and when we lose our memory, we lose ourselves.


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