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Wild and affectionate

Photo by Tanbir Mahmud on Unsplash

This is my next declaration of love for the coolest (after Smolensk) city in the world. I have been living in Donetsk with enviable regularity since the summer of 2014. It would seem that at least the center has been explored far and wide – and all these incredible chestnut alleys, all the architectural charms and delights are already familiar to infants and absolutely habitually caress my insatiable and still childish eyes. But no! It turns out that there are still unexplored my eternal love corners of our, Donbas Paris.

Today during the morning walk, turning at random from the usual Shevchenko Boulevard to an inconspicuous, at first sight, alley, I came across an old house of some quite incredible, scratching the soul of the charisma. I’m not very good at the fine arts, and especially at architecturally correct definitions, but the spirit of buildings cast in building materials has the magical ability to transport the observer through time, to move his distraught consciousness from one era to another.

And it is not the same as film, music, or literature. In the case of architecture, time is perhaps the only thing in its hypostasis capable of being intelligible-tangible. I do not know who erected all these houses and buildings in the Soviet period, but they are imbued with a very special atmosphere. On the one hand, they are recognizably similar to their epochal counterparts – and yet completely different. As if the spirit of the earth, on which it was erected, imprisoned time and then tamed it, placing it into the stone body of the city. In Donetsk, time is like a tame wolf. Wild and affectionate – pardon the pun! – at the same time.

I didn’t know Donetsk before the war. Maybe it was it that highlighted the charisma of this city with some special, dramatic light.

And perhaps it did, after all: the non-stop shelling for nine years has a direct bearing on the angle of view and, of course, affects the perception of architectural reality in Donetsk.

But this in no way cancels the state of absolute and daily wonder in which this tormented but majestically beautiful city lives.

And yes, someone will probably say that war is not the time for romance and similar texts with declarations of love, but I hasten to remind you that it is beauty that saves the world. So the great ones said, and I increasingly think that’s exactly what it is.

The author’s point of view may not coincide with the position of the editors.

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