«Ruins for remembrance»: the debate about the bombed London City churches and its echoes in Italy

Journal title STORIA URBANA
Author/s Andrea Pane
Publishing Year 2018 Issue 2018/158 Language Italian
Pages 37 P. 111-147 File size 423 KB
DOI 10.3280/SU2018-158006
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Within the more general framework of British post-war reconstruction, this article focuses on the bombed churches of the City of London, around which an intense debate took place in the years 1940-1945, involving most of the English architects, historians and intellectuals of the day. The events are reviewed in relation to the typically British appreciation of ruins and the specific sensitivity that developed during the London “Blitz”. Starting from a consolidated literature, the text examines the bibliographical sources of that era, focusing on the prominence and decline of the idea of conserving some churches as "war memorials". This brought together the picturesque taste for ruins, respect for their authenticity and the will to preserve tangible traces of the war in a city, London, on which the destiny of radical urban transformation already hovered. The article concludes with a reference to the early Italian echoes of this debate, which reveal the lively attention of Italy’s architects and urban planners to every phase of Britain’s reconstruction.

Keywords: London, Blitz, Churches, Post-war reconstruction, Italy.

Andrea Pane, «Ruins for remembrance»: the debate about the bombed London City churches and its echoes in Italy in "STORIA URBANA " 158/2018, pp 111-147, DOI: 10.3280/SU2018-158006