Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The city and its symbols

Consecration cross, Norfolk, UK.
The city is a place, a center of meaning, par ecellence. It has many highly visible symbols. More important, the city itself is a symbol. The traditional city symbolized , first, trascendental and man-made order as against the chaotic forces of terrestrial and infernal nature. Second, it stood for an ideal human community: ¨What is the Citie, but the People?¨ True, the People are the Citie¨(Shakespeare, Coriolanus, act 3, scene 1). It was as transcendental order that ancient cities acquired their monumental aspect. Massive walls and portals demarcated sacred space. Fortifications defended a people against not only human enemies but also demons and the souls of the dead. In medieval Europe priests consecrated city walls so that they could ward oof the devil, sickness, and death -in other words, the threats of chaos.

Lotus garden, India
Masonic church

Space and Place. By Yi-Fu Tuan. P. 173. Visibility and Chaos. University of Minnesota. 2007

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