Altaplana, world of Francois Schuiten and Benoit Peeters

the impossible & infinite encyclopedia of the world created by Schuiten & Peeters

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François Schuiten, Benoît Peeters and their Les Cités Obscures

Welcome to Altaplana, the impossible and infinite encyclopedia of the world of The Obscure Cities, originally named Les Cités Obscures and its authors François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters.

François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters started to explore these cities in the early 1980s. In this fictional world, humans live in independent city-states, each of which has developed a distinct civilisation, each characterised by a distinctive architectural style.

François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters didn't only explore this universe by graphic novels, but also by the means of books, movies, exhibitions, scenographics & radio documentaries.

The word Obscure is somewhat misleading for English-speaking readers. In English we tend to think of the word to mean “little known” or “odd.” The French use the word for multiple meanings, including “mysterious”, “hidden” or even “secluded.” ALL of these adjectives could apply to the world imagined in the minds of Benoît Peeters and François Schuiten.

And although not all their work is officially related to the Obscure Cities, they all seem to fit somehow in the concept of their Les Cités Obscures.


La Maison du Lys de France, a story by Gérard Manset with new illustrations by François Schuiten

See our review of 2017 events

François Schuiten has designed several labels for wine bottles

On the Obscure Continent Altaplana is the city that is dedicated to hold all the archives of the Obscure Cities. Altaplana was founded in November 747 AT, after the Convention Von Amelunxen decided that all archives had to be centralized in one special place. Altaplana is located west of Urbicande and Alaxis, mid-way between the two in longitude.

The founding of Altaplana was not an immediately success. It took a long time to sort out if the documents have to be archived in alphabetical, chronological or logical order. Even after personal intervention of Governor Arkhalsky the chaos remained.

It was after a long time that Joseph Le Perdriel brought structure in the chaos by implementing a system that allowed documents to be archived in alphabetical, chronological and logical order, all at the same time. This system made it possible in 2011 to lift the embargo on information and open the Altaplana archives for everyone.

The archives at Altaplana contain about 2895 pages and are growing day by day. Enjoy the world of Les Cités Obscures!


Latest news on Les Cités Obscures

Latest news about Schuiten & Peeters

24-12-2017  · À Urbicande, l'homme était peu de choses

À Urbicande, l'homme était peu de choses Article in Le Soir of December 23, 2017 by Daniel Couvreur with a review of the first integral album of Les Cités Obscures.…
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23-12-2017  · Preview Of 2018

Preview Of 2018 The end of the year is good for a review of 2017 but also for a preview of 2018. What are the plans of François Schuiten and Benoît Peeters for the new year? The radio adaptation of « La Tour » will be presented on France Culture…
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23-12-2017  · Interview d'Aurélia Aurita et Benoît Peeters pour Comme un Chef

Interview d'Aurélia Aurita et Benoît Peeters pour Comme un Chef La genèse du projet BENOIT PEETERS « À l’origine de ce livre, il y a plusieurs éléments. D’abord, la volonté de faire une comédie car, jusqu’à présent, mes histoires avaient toujour…
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Integral editions of Les Cités Obscures

First integral edition of Les Cités Obscures

Latest additions and major changes to Altaplana

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