Duration in Time

author Nenad Fabijanić
project Summer Stage, Kastav, Croatia
written by Ivana Krmpotić

Everything tends to make us believe that there exists a certain point of the mind at which life and death, the real and the imagined, past and future, the communicable and the incommunicable, high and low, cease to be perceived as contradictions.

André Breton, Surrealist Manifesto, Paris, 1924 


The abandoned plateau of the Kastavian Crekvina summarizes in itself the zero point of the possible and the past; Ruskin's romantic ruin and its unfulfilled ambition. The shrine, realized through the immanent rituals of architectural order and hierarchy, autonomous to its environment, generates anew its very source and the locus upon which it is built. The devastating sincerity of the unadulterated walls, which time has deprived of the possibility of hiding behind the deposits of ornaments, sculptures, colours, and stained glass windows approved by history, outgrows its size. Naturally or artificially, stone made out of stone, propagating into infinity. Incomprehensibly large, the ruin hides its forever forgotten architects–builders, among humans or gods. To a contemporary passer-by, it is seemingly closer to nature itself than to a House.


Dilapidated symbols, dismantled elements of order, stronger than their fulfilled ideal, point to their own history, whose actual date is still lost in legends, in the tireless striving for truth. The inversion between the exterior and the interior – the obverse and the reverse – articulates and offers a new experience of space. The void (and the notion) of the plateau makes up an exposed altar apse, almost the only remaining sequence of the Kastavian Crekvina. The altar as a source, as a point where, once more, the real and the transcendent space meet, is a narrative symbol of religion. An architectural subject brought back to life; universal and logical, comprehensible.