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  1. ArchDaily
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  3. “Potemkin Villages” Expose a World of Architectural Fakery

“Potemkin Villages” Expose a World of Architectural Fakery

“Potemkin Villages” Expose a World of Architectural Fakery
“Potemkin Villages” Expose a World of Architectural Fakery, Sweden, Carson City. Image © Gregor Sailer
Sweden, Carson City. Image © Gregor Sailer

According to Russian legend, "Potemkin Villages"—entirely fake urban conurbations made to appear real—can be traced to it's namesake, Field Marshall Aleksandrovich Potemkin. In 1787, this soldier faced an unusual request: Catherine the Great demanded the construction of swathes of artificial settlements along her route to the Crimea in order to disguise, or veil, the run-down face of the region.

In a new book, photographer Gregor Sailer documents versions of Potemkin Villages from around the world. From faithful replicas of European cities in China to vehicle test cities in Scandinavia, grand political gestures to combat training centers, Sailer’s images lend us access to "the world of fakes, copies, and stage sets."

Germany, Schnöggersburg. Image © Gregor Sailer Germany, Schnöggersburg. Image © Gregor Sailer Russia, Ufa & Suzdal. Image © Gregor Sailer USA, Junction City. Image © Gregor Sailer + 12

China, Thames Town. Image © Gregor Sailer
China, Thames Town. Image © Gregor Sailer
China, Thames Town. Image © Gregor Sailer
China, Thames Town. Image © Gregor Sailer
Russia, Ufa & Suzdal. Image © Gregor Sailer
Russia, Ufa & Suzdal. Image © Gregor Sailer
France, Beauséjour. Image © Gregor Sailer
France, Beauséjour. Image © Gregor Sailer
France, Complexe de Tir en Zone Urbaine. Image © Gregor Sailer
France, Complexe de Tir en Zone Urbaine. Image © Gregor Sailer
France, Complexe de Tir en Zone Urbaine. Image © Gregor Sailer
France, Complexe de Tir en Zone Urbaine. Image © Gregor Sailer
Germany, Schnöggersburg. Image © Gregor Sailer
Germany, Schnöggersburg. Image © Gregor Sailer
Germany, Schnöggersburg. Image © Gregor Sailer
Germany, Schnöggersburg. Image © Gregor Sailer
USA, Junction City. Image © Gregor Sailer
USA, Junction City. Image © Gregor Sailer
USA, Junction City. Image © Gregor Sailer
USA, Junction City. Image © Gregor Sailer
USA, Tiefort City. Image © Gregor Sailer
USA, Tiefort City. Image © Gregor Sailer

The Potemkin Village

This book is also available from the publisher, Kehrer.

About this author
AD Editorial Team
Author
Cite: AD Editorial Team. "“Potemkin Villages” Expose a World of Architectural Fakery" 07 Nov 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/882833/these-potemkin-villages-display-a-world-of-architectural-fakery/> ISSN 0719-8884
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Sweden, Carson City. Image © Gregor Sailer

“假面村落”-波坦金村,一个只有建筑立面的世界