Architecture and politics in Central Europe
Vinsand, Daniel John
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Architecture and political power have related throughout history in various ways. The most prominent function of architecture, as well as other aesthetics, in the political realm has been to raise the national sentiment of a people. The aesthetics of architecture can be used to sell the ideas of a political system to the populace both by the creation of new architecture and the destruction of symbols contrary to the polity. The vehicle by which politics and architecture interrelate is shown to be the rhetoric surrounding the buildings. Exemplary of this is the nationalist period of Europe, when characters such as Stalin and Hitler manipulated aesthetics to develop national sentiment. Hence, in newly democratic Prague and Berlin we see a change in architecture and a rhetorical debate on the national value of styles, though the styles used in each case were not the same. Architectural style is therefore shown not to reflect a specific political theory, and national sentiment is again the key way in which architecture and politics relate.
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