LoginJoin us
Forgot Password
Add to Collection

The Political Church

Prishtina, Serbia
1 of 6

In orthodox liturgy not only architecture and the interior of a sacred place but moreover its outside and immediate environment play an important and symbolic role. Originally planned as Serbian-Orthodox Church of Christ the Savior in the very heart of Prishtina, its unfinished and ruined structure resides as dark reminder in an urban no-mans land.

Where once six mighty oaks should have told the story of God's creation, KFOR soldiers put up a solid barbed wire fence in a 50-meter radius that would protect the unfinished church from attacks.

That informal radius around the ruined cathedral was passed on and is still readable while casting spatial relations that should be the arena for a vital critical debate.

This research therefore focuses on a productive use of heritage as necessary tool for future engagement. All research is focused on connecting existing narratives in the position of an uninvited outsider that instead of taking sides tries to connect various opinions.

This ruined building was planned as the Serbian-Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Savior, built during the conflictual times in Kosovo during the mid-1990s, when Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic was in power and attempting to consolidate Serbian control over the mainly ethnic Albanian then province of Kosovo. Since then, the church was whether finished nor destroyed.

Many years after the war for independence in Kosovo 1999, the architectural status of the unfinished building is still unclear and the church ruin remains in its bizarre and ambiguous presence untouched on a piece of no man's land in the midst of downtown Pristina.

For several years a rancorous dispute over the legal affiliation of the unfinished church has been raised between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the University of Prishtina.

This conflict however does not seem to resolve the future of the ailing architecture but rather solidifies its temporary state to a final one.

Go to article
martinpohl, February 12th, 2018
Go to article