Ukraine’s Floating Castle

Found object: floating castle. Photos of a mysterious levitated structure that looks straight out of a fantasy film showed up recently, and much speculation followed. Where was it? Was it a sculpture? Had the photoshop corps been at work again?

Some judicious automated translator banging (most of the conversation is in Russian, Spanish, and Ukranian) yielded a few tidbits. The photographer, for example, says it was dismantled in May of this year. And it was in Ukraine. Archinect says it’s the remains of “bunker for the overload of mineral fertilizers.”

But what I find most interesting are the connections people made between the structure and film worlds created by Terry Gilliam, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and, most often, Hayao Miyazaki — particularly Howl’s Moving Castle. I never quite understood what went on in that film. (A couple friends from Japan didn’t either, so I’m guessing it’s not a cultural thing.) Still, the characters and the world were so strong that it nearly didn’t matter.

And the fact that so many want to see Miyazaki’s world in the real one says something about the places his films create. Lots of animated films let us escape into wonderful imaginary places. But there’s something special about Miyazaki’s movies that makes the real world seem more wonderful, too.

Find alternate angles and multilingual conversation at panoramio. Thanks to ffffound.

14 Responses to “Ukraine’s Floating Castle”


  1. 1 Allison

    Actually, just so you know, Howl’s Moving Castle is based off a British story. :)

  2. 2 Jake

    you know miyazaki’s genius made that story great?
    a lot of Hayao Miyazaki’s films are based off of books or stories that had already existed, but it’s what he does with them and how he (and the rest of studio Ghibli) bring the movies to life that makes them so memorable. all of his movie breath. if you know the movies you know what i mean

  3. 3 Daniel

    I’m not positive, but I think this structure was actually built as part of the set design of the Russian sci-fi movie “Kin-Dza-Dza”, and left out there after the movie was over.

    I could be wrong, but at least you can find more (and better) pictures of the building by doing a google image search for Kin Dza Dza.

  4. 4 J. H. Tropolis

    This is the usual structure for Ukrainian grain storage bins. Normally there are posts supporting it. Trucks can drive right underneath for loading purposes. This one appears to be abandoned and possibly in the process of demolition. The supports have been removed, but is has not collapsed because it is empty. PS: Ukraine is the greatest!!!!

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