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Friday, December 17, 2010

Ruins as Event Architecture

Ruins can be a great setting for events, be they annual or one-off. This is one way that a locale can bring tourists to a site. Sometimes ruins develop their own grassroots traditions, while in other cases a municipality or country may choose to organize an event. Some categories and examples:

Concerts - Here in Israel we have a number of examples, such as David Broza at Masada or concerts in the Caesaria theater. Recently Elton John performed at Chichen Itza, a Mayan ruin.

- The Reading Abbey in England hosts an annual event, the Open Air Festival. A theater company in Winnipeg, Canada hosts an annual event called Shakespeare in Ruins. This may exist elsewhere as well.

- the Khajuraho Dance Festival takes place in India at the open-air auditorium in front of the Chitragupta Temple.

- the International Egyptian Marathon goes by the temple at Luxor. In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the shot put competition was held in the stadium of Olympia, where the original Olympics took place.

Weddings -
we found many examples of wedding planners designing weddings in ruins.

Often this type of event can be far less intrusive than configuring a site to be a permanent tourist attraction year-round. When a ruin is turned into a tourist attraction, its ruin-ness pretty much comes to an end. An event, however, can be held without transforming the site. Although for one night it will be invaded, the living creatures can reinhabit the site quickly.

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