From Palaces-Delubrums to Palaces-Simulacrums

Elena Bagina


Today the notion of palace is rather vague. It unites artistically and functionally heterogeneous buildings. Historically, there are two types of palaces: a palace-delubrum (Ancient times, Middle Ages) and a palace-artwork (epochs of absolute monarchies). From the middle of the 19th century different public buildings that had no relation to power representation were called palaces: the Chrystal Palace, the Palace of Nations, etc. In the USSR there were Palaces of Culture, Palaces of Soviets, Palaces of Labour, etc. Such public buildings can be called palaces-simulacrums, which are to cultivate democratic illusions in the society. The museeficated old-time palaces are a dead ‘outer body’ of the deceased rulers. Palaces remain alive only when they are abodes of the Power.


power representation; absolute monarchy; palace as an artwork; democracy; museefication of palaces


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