The circular villages

A singular urbanism inherited from the Middle Ages

The round villages are a particularity of the Languedoc and we count no less than 23 villages built in a circle or semi-circle around a church or a castle.

  • 11 circular villages on several streets: Alaigne, Bellegarde du Razès, Cailhau, Escueillens, La Digne d’Aval, Lauraguel, Loupia, Malviès, Mazerolles du Razès, Pauligne and Routier,
  • 7 circular villages on one street: Cailhavel, Cambieure, Donazac, Gaja, La Digne d’Amont, Magrie and Pech Salamou,
  • 2 semi-circular villages on several streets: Ajac and Brugairolles,
  • 3 semi-circular villages on one street: Gramazie, Malras and VIllelongue d’Aude.

This type of architecture confers a particular morphology to its villages since,seen from the sky, they are of circular form.
Virtual hard cores of villages and some towns, the adjacent houses are then built in concentric circles in an enveloping manner around their church or their castle which takes on the name “d’incastellamento languedocien “.

As Alexandre Guiraud says so well, in Le cloître de Villemartin (Poésies, Paris, 1843, p. 386, note no. 2): “Presumably all the villages which surround me and which were part of the old comté du Razès of which Limoux was the capital, are built in the round, with suburbs built later, because they all date from a rather remote time, and that they had to establish themselves in a state of defense, during the long agitations of which Languedoc was three times the theater at the time of the Saracens, the Albigensians and the Huguenots

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