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Localization of the circulades in France

In the Languedoc-Roussillon region of the south of France, a circulade is a traditional village that has been built in concentric circles. The center, which one might expect to be the site of a château-fort or a parish church, is as often as not, empty, as air photography demonstrates.[1] Though the highly structured circulade plans were not identified as a unique urbanistic phenomenon until 1992, are medieval in origin, dating from the eleventh and twelfth centuries, two centuries earlier than the planned bastides of the region. The Larousse does not list this neologism for an ancient form of urbanisation, which has been adopted by an association formed to promote these "circular villages"; Jacques Heers included it in this handbook La ville au Moyen Age (Hachette Pluriel, 1992),

Krzysztof Pawlowski, an architect of Polish extraction working for the UNESCO patrimony section, first studied this phenomenon, which proffered a prototype at the rebirth of European traditions of urbanisation, in Circulades languedociennes de l'an mille: naissance de l'urbanisation européenne (Montpellier 1992).[2] Pawlowski identified more than fifty circular cities and villages of Languedoc-Roussillon,[3] the birthplace of this concept at the rebirth of European town planning.


  1. ^ The website languedoc-france that illustrates circular villages seen from the air is blacklisted at Wikipedia
  2. ^ (Another blacklisted document by Krzysztof Pawlowski)
  3. ^[permanent dead link]

Further reading[edit]

  • Jean Favier Dictionnaire de la France médiévale (Fayard, 1993), s.v. "Circulade".