Volkau, Mikola Aljaksandravich. Reconstruction of the Old Castle of Hrodna

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For citation: Volkau, Mikola Aljaksandravich. Reconstruction of the Old Castle of Hrodna, in Studia Slavica et Balcanica Petropolitana. 2021. № 1. Pp. 145-160. DOI https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu19.2021.109

Title of the article Reconstruction of the Old Castle of Hrodna

Volkau, Mikola Aljaksandravich — PhD in History, Researcher, European Humanities University, Vilnius, Lithuania, Orc ID 0000-0003-1840-4145; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In the section  Miscellanea / Miscellanea
Year 2021 Issue Pages 145-160
Type of article RAR Index UDK; BBK UDK 725.171+72.061;
BBK 79.0
Index DOI https://doi.org/10.21638/spbu19.2021.109

The Old Castle in Hrodna is the most important architectural monument for Belarus in terms of its historical value, since it is the only architectural object in the country where state institutions have functioned for more than seven centuries. Active reconstruction of the castle, which began in 2016, showed that the «revival» of this building is supported by a significant part of the Belarusian society and elites, also due to the fact that castles are perceived as important symbols in the Belarusian national narrative. At the same time, such heritage objects are quite convenient in terms of interpretation and, depending on the situation and needs, can be used as symbols of different ideas and concepts. The reconstruction of the Old Castle is the quintessence of the «romantic» approach to the restoration of architectural monuments, when the basis of the concept is the desire to restore the object for a certain narrow period «in all its greatness». The project for the reconstruction of this castle is characterized by the desire to increase the architectural volumes in height in order to create a more expressive image. At the same time, the works performed in 2017–2020 showed that a significant part of architects, officials and the Belarusian society are not embarrassed by the striking difference between the proposed image and how the castle looked according to historical sources. However, the implementation of this approach threatens the Old Castle with a loss of authenticity, which is the greatest value of this monument in the long term.

Keywords architecture, Old Grodno Castle, reconstruction, architectural monuments, Grodno, national idea, cultural studies, national identity
Full text version of the article. Article language  Russian

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Tags: ethnicity, historical memory, medieval studies, MISCELLANEA / MISCELLANEA, national idea, national identity, cultural studies, Art, architecture, Belarus, reconstruction, VOLKAU M.

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