Ruins
Overview
 
Ruins are the remains of human-made architecture: structures that were once complete, as time went by, have fallen into a state of partial or complete disrepair, due to lack of maintenance
Maintenance, Repair and Operations
Maintenance, repair, and operations or maintenance, repair, and overhaul involves fixing any sort of mechanical or electrical device should it become out of order or broken...

 or deliberate acts of destruction. Natural disaster
Natural disaster
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

, war and depopulation are the most common root causes, with many structures becoming progressively derelict over time due to long-term weathering
Weathering
Weathering is the breaking down of rocks, soils and minerals as well as artificial materials through contact with the Earth's atmosphere, biota and waters...

 and scavenging.

There are famous ruins all over the world, from ancient sites in China
Yinxu
Yinxu is the ruins of the last capital of China's Shang Dynasty. The capital served 255 years for 12 kings in 8 generations.Rediscovered in 1899, it is one of the oldest and largest archeological sites in China and is one of the historical capitals of China and a UNESCO World Heritage Site...

, the Indus valley and Judea
Judea
Judea or Judæa was the name of the mountainous southern part of the historic Land of Israel from the 8th century BCE to the 2nd century CE, when Roman Judea was renamed Syria Palaestina following the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt.-Etymology:The...

 to Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 in Africa, ancient Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, Egyptian
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 and Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 sites in the Mediterranean basin
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

, and Incan
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

 and Mayan
Maya civilization
The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period The Maya is a Mesoamerican...

 sites in the Americas.
Encyclopedia
Ruins are the remains of human-made architecture: structures that were once complete, as time went by, have fallen into a state of partial or complete disrepair, due to lack of maintenance
Maintenance, Repair and Operations
Maintenance, repair, and operations or maintenance, repair, and overhaul involves fixing any sort of mechanical or electrical device should it become out of order or broken...

 or deliberate acts of destruction. Natural disaster
Natural disaster
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

, war and depopulation are the most common root causes, with many structures becoming progressively derelict over time due to long-term weathering
Weathering
Weathering is the breaking down of rocks, soils and minerals as well as artificial materials through contact with the Earth's atmosphere, biota and waters...

 and scavenging.

There are famous ruins all over the world, from ancient sites in China
Yinxu
Yinxu is the ruins of the last capital of China's Shang Dynasty. The capital served 255 years for 12 kings in 8 generations.Rediscovered in 1899, it is one of the oldest and largest archeological sites in China and is one of the historical capitals of China and a UNESCO World Heritage Site...

, the Indus valley and Judea
Judea
Judea or Judæa was the name of the mountainous southern part of the historic Land of Israel from the 8th century BCE to the 2nd century CE, when Roman Judea was renamed Syria Palaestina following the Jewish Bar Kokhba revolt.-Etymology:The...

 to Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

 in Africa, ancient Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, Egyptian
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 and Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 sites in the Mediterranean basin
Mediterranean Basin
In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin refers to the lands around the Mediterranean Sea that have a Mediterranean climate, with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, which supports characteristic Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub vegetation...

, and Incan
Inca Empire
The Inca Empire, or Inka Empire , was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century...

 and Mayan
Maya civilization
The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period The Maya is a Mesoamerican...

 sites in the Americas. Ruins are of great importance to historians, archaeologists
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 and anthropologists
Anthropology
Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

, whether they were once individual fortification
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

s, places of worship
Place of worship
A place of worship or house of worship is an establishment or her location where a group of people comes to perform acts of religious study, honor, or devotion. The form and function of religious architecture has evolved over thousands of years for both changing beliefs and architectural style...

, houses and utility buildings, or entire villages, towns and cities. Many ruins have become UNESCO World Heritage Sites in recent years, to identify and preserve them as areas of outstanding value to humanity.

Cities

Ancient cities were often highly militarized and fortified defensive settlements. In times of war they were the central focus of armed conflict and would be sack
Looting
Looting —also referred to as sacking, plundering, despoiling, despoliation, and pillaging—is the indiscriminate taking of goods by force as part of a military or political victory, or during a catastrophe, such as during war, natural disaster, or rioting...

ed and ruined in defeat. Although less central to modern conflict, vast areas of 20th century cities such as Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

, Dresden
Dresden
Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

, Coventry
Coventry
Coventry is a city and metropolitan borough in the county of West Midlands in England. Coventry is the 9th largest city in England and the 11th largest in the United Kingdom. It is also the second largest city in the English Midlands, after Birmingham, with a population of 300,848, although...

, London and Berlin were left in ruins following World War II, and a number of major cities around the world – such as Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

, Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

, Grozny
Grozny
Grozny is the capital city of the Chechen Republic, Russia. The city lies on the Sunzha River. According to the preliminary results of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 271,596; up from 210,720 recorded in the 2002 Census. but still only about two-thirds of 399,688 recorded in the 1989...

 and Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 – have been partially or completely ruined in recent years as a result of more localised warfare.

Entire cities have also been ruined, and some occasionally lost completely, to natural disasters. The ancient city of Pompeii
Pompeii
The city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Along with Herculaneum, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning...

 was completely lost during a volcanic eruption in the 1st century CE
Common Era
Common Era ,abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini .Dates before the year 1 CE are indicated by the usage of BCE, short for Before the Common Era Common Era...

, its uncovered ruins now preserved as a World Heritage Site. The city of Lisbon
Lisbon
Lisbon is the capital city and largest city of Portugal with a population of 545,245 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Lisbon extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of 3 million on an area of , making it the 9th most populous urban...

 was totally destroyed in 1755
1755 Lisbon earthquake
The 1755 Lisbon earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake, was a megathrust earthquake that took place on Saturday 1 November 1755, at around 9:40 in the morning. The earthquake was followed by fires and a tsunami, which almost totally destroyed Lisbon in the Kingdom of Portugal, and...

 by a massive earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

 and tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

, and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake
1906 San Francisco earthquake
The San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was a major earthquake that struck San Francisco, California, and the coast of Northern California at 5:12 a.m. on Wednesday, April 18, 1906. The most widely accepted estimate for the magnitude of the earthquake is a moment magnitude of 7.9; however, other...

 left the city in almost complete ruin.

Deliberate destruction

Apart from acts of war, some important historic buildings have fallen victim to deliberate acts of destruction as a consequence of social, political and economic factors. The spoliation of public monuments in Rome was under way during the fourth century, when it was covered in protective legislation in the Theodosian Code and in new legislation of Majorian
Majorian
Majorian , was the Western Roman Emperor from 457 to 461.A prominent general of the Late Roman army, Majorian deposed Emperor Avitus in 457 and succeeded him. Majorian was one of the last emperors to make a concerted effort to restore the Western Roman Empire...

. and the dismantling increased once popes were free of imperial restrictions. Marble was still being burned for agricultural lime in the Roman Camapgna into the nineteenth century.
In Europe, many religious buildings suffered as a result of the politics of the day. In the 16th century, the English monarch Henry VIII
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. He was Lord, and later King, of Ireland, as well as continuing the nominal claim by the English monarchs to the Kingdom of France...

 set about confiscating the property of monastic institutions in a campaign which became known as the Dissolution of the Monasteries
Dissolution of the Monasteries
The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland; appropriated their...

. Many abbey
Abbey
An abbey is a Catholic monastery or convent, under the authority of an Abbot or an Abbess, who serves as the spiritual father or mother of the community.The term can also refer to an establishment which has long ceased to function as an abbey,...

s and monsateries
Monastery
Monastery denotes the building, or complex of buildings, that houses a room reserved for prayer as well as the domestic quarters and workplace of monastics, whether monks or nuns, and whether living in community or alone .Monasteries may vary greatly in size – a small dwelling accommodating only...

 fell into ruin when their assets, including lead roofs, were stripped.

Following World War II, a number of European historic buildings fell into ruin as a result of taxation policies, which required all structures with roofs to pay substantial property tax
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

. The owners of these buildings, like Fetteresso Castle
Fetteresso Castle
Fetteresso Castle is a 14th century towerhouse, rebuilt in 1761 as a Scottish gothic style Palladian manor, with clear evidence of prehistoric use of the site. It is situated immediately west of the town of Stonehaven in Kincardineshire slightly to the west of the A90 dual carriageway...

 (now restored) and Slains Castle
Slains Castle
New Slains Castle is a ruined castle near Cruden Bay in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, overlooking the North Sea.The remains stand perched atop tall, sea-facing cliffs, constructed around an existing tower house built in 1597 by the 9th Earl of Erroll. Significant reconstruction of the castle has been...

 in Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, deliberately destroyed their roofs in protest at, and defiance of, the new taxes. Other decrees of government have had a more direct result, such as the case of Beverston Castle
Beverston Castle
Beverston Castle, also known as Beverstone Castle, was originally constructed as a medieval stone fortress and is situated in the village of Beverston, Gloucestershire, England. The castle was founded in 1229 by Maurice de Gaunt...

, in which the English parliament ordered significant destruction of the castle to prevent it being used by opposition Royalist
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

s. Post-colonial Ireland has encouraged the ruin of grand Georgian houses, symbols of British imperialism.

Relics of steel and wooden towers

As a rule, towers built of steel are dismantled, when not used any more, because their construction can be either rebuilt on a new site or if state of construction does not allow a direct reuse, the metal can be recycled economically. However sometimes tower basements remain, because their removal can sometimes be expensive. One example of such a basement is the basement of the former radio mast of Deutschlandsender Herzberg/Elster
Deutschlandsender Herzberg/Elster
The Deutschlandsender Herzberg/Elster was a 500 kilowatt long-wave transmitter at Herzberg/Elster, which was in service from 1939 to 1945. It used a 337 metre high guyed steel lattice mast of triangular cross section. This was used as a mast radiator and was therefore mounted on a 0.75 metre high...

.

The basements of large wooden towers such as Transmitter Ismaning
Transmitter Ismaning
The Transmitter Ismaning was a large radio station inaugurated in 1932. From 1932 to 1934 this transmitter, which replaced the transmitter in Munich-Stadelheim, used a T-antenna as transmitting antenna, which was hung up two 115-meter-high freestanding wood framework towers...

 may also be left behind, because removing them would be difficult.

The contemplation of "rust belt
Rust Belt
The Rust Belt is a term that gained currency in the 1980s as the informal description of an area straddling the Midwestern and Northeastern United States, in which local economies traditionally garnered an increased manufacturing sector to add jobs and corporate profits...

" post-industrial ruins is in its infancy.

Aesthetics

In the Middle Ages Roman ruins were inconvenient impediments to modern life, quarries for pre-shaped blocks for building projects, or of marble to be burnt for agricultural lime, and subjects for satisfying commentaries on the triumph of Christianity and the general sense of the world's decay, in what was assumed to be its last age, before the Second Coming
Second Coming
In Christian doctrine, the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Advent, or the Parousia, is the anticipated return of Jesus Christ from Heaven, where he sits at the Right Hand of God, to Earth. This prophecy is found in the canonical gospels and in most Christian and Islamic eschatologies...

. With the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, ruins took on new roles among a cultural elite, as examples for a consciously revived and purified architecture all' antica, and for a new aesthetic appreciation of their innate beauty as objects of venerable decay. The chance discovery of Nero's Domus Aurea
Domus Aurea
The Domus Aurea was a large landscaped portico villa, designed to take advantage of artificially created landscapes built in the heart of Ancient Rome by the Emperor Nero after the Great Fire of Rome had cleared away the aristocratic dwellings on the slopes of the Palatine...

 at the turn of the sixteenth century, and the early excavations at Herculaneum
Herculaneum
Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows in AD 79, located in the territory of the current commune of Ercolano, in the Italian region of Campania in the shadow of Mt...

 and Pompeii
Pompeii
The city of Pompeii is a partially buried Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei. Along with Herculaneum, Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried during a long catastrophic eruption of the volcano Mount Vesuvius spanning...

 had marked effects on current architectural styles, in Raphael's Rooms at the Vatican and in neoclassical interiors
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

, respectively. The new sense of historicism
Historicism
Historicism is a mode of thinking that assigns a central and basic significance to a specific context, such as historical period, geographical place and local culture. As such it is in contrast to individualist theories of knowledges such as empiricism and rationalism, which neglect the role of...

 that accompanied neoclassicism led some artists and designers to conceive of the modern classicising monuments of their own day as they would one day appear as ruins.

Ruin value
Ruin value
Ruin value is the concept that a building be designed such that if it eventually collapsed, it would leave behind aesthetically pleasing ruins that would last far longer without any maintenance at all...

  is the concept that a building be designed such that if it eventually collapsed, it would leave behind aesthetically pleasing ruins that would last far longer without any maintenance at all. Joseph Michael Gandy
Joseph Michael Gandy
Joseph Michael Gandy was an English artist, visionary architect and architectural theorist, most noted for his imaginative paintings depicting Sir John Soane's architectural designs...

 completed for Sir John Soane in 1832 an atmospheric watercolor of the architect's vast Bank of England
Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694, it is the second oldest central bank in the world...

 rotunda as a picturesquely overgrown ruin, that is an icon of Romanticism
Romanticism
Romanticism was an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe, and gained strength in reaction to the Industrial Revolution...

. Ruinenwert was popularized in the 20th century by Albert Speer while planning for the 1936 Summer Olympics
1936 Summer Olympics
The 1936 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event which was held in 1936 in Berlin, Germany. Berlin won the bid to host the Games over Barcelona, Spain on April 26, 1931, at the 29th IOC Session in Barcelona...

 and published as Die Ruinenwerttheorie ("The Theory of Ruin Value").

Ruins remain a popular subject for painting and creative photography and are often romanticized in film and literature, providing scenic backdrops or used as metaphor
Metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

s for other forms of decline or decay. For example, the ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle
Dunstanburgh Castle
Dunstanburgh Castle lies on a spectacular headland on the coast of Northumberland in northern England, between the villages of Craster and Embleton....

 in England inspired Turner
J. M. W. Turner
Joseph Mallord William Turner RA was an English Romantic landscape painter, watercolourist and printmaker. Turner was considered a controversial figure in his day, but is now regarded as the artist who elevated landscape painting to an eminence rivalling history painting...

 to create several paintings; in 1989 the ruined Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle is a ruined medieval fortress located upon a rocky headland on the north-east coast of Scotland, about two miles south of Stonehaven. The surviving buildings are largely of the 15th–16th centuries, but the site is believed to have been an early fortress of the Dark Ages...

 in Scotland was used for filming of Hamlet
Hamlet (1990 film)
Hamlet is a 1990 drama film based on the Shakespearean tragedy Hamlet. It was directed by Franco Zeffirelli, with Mel Gibson as the young Prince Hamlet...

. The Civilization
Civilization (series)
Civilization is a series of turn-based strategy, 4X video games produced by Sid Meier. Basic gameplay functions are similar throughout the series, namely, buiding a civilization on a macro-scale from prehistory up to the near future...

 series of turn-based strategy computer games features ruins as special tiles which may provide the player with a bonus when explored.

See also

  • Dissolution of the monasteries
    Dissolution of the Monasteries
    The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland; appropriated their...

  • Folly
    Folly
    In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting by its appearance some other purpose, or merely so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or other class of building to which it belongs...

    , for garden ruins
  • Ozymandias
    Ozymandias
    "Ozymandias" is a sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley, published in 1818 in the January 11 issue of The Examiner in London. It is frequently anthologised and is probably Shelley's most famous short poem...

  • Shipwreck
    Shipwreck
    A shipwreck is what remains of a ship that has wrecked, either sunk or beached. Whatever the cause, a sunken ship or a wrecked ship is a physical example of the event: this explains why the two concepts are often overlapping in English....


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK