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 the Obscure Cities

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, Benoît Peeters and their Les Cités Obscures

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.


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 2983 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

09-09-2018  · Tribunal

Tribunal Martin Villeneuve worked during summer 2018 with François Schuiten in the South of France. Probably on the storyboards of "The Other World" movie. During one of these sessions he made the following picture of François Schuiten. [Image …
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01-09-2018  · Souvenirs de l’éternel présent in Brussels

Souvenirs de l’éternel présent in Brussels François Schuiten, dessinateur de bande dessinée et scénographe ; Benoît Peeters, écrivain, scénariste et critique ; Bruno Letort, compositeur, orchestrateur, guitare et claviers. Un conte fantastique r…
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01-09-2018  · Das letzte Kind der Welt

Das letzte Kind der Welt Schwelgerische Bilder, dürftige Geschichte: In “Erinnerung an die ewige Gegenwart” erzählen Schuiten und Peeters erneut von einer geheimnisvollen Stadt. “” Eigentlich werden Städte von Menschen gemacht. Aber in den Comics v…
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More news articles...

Integral editions of Les Cités Obscures

Integral editions of Les Cités Obscures

Latest additions and major changes to Altaplana

Tramapatte (Le) 25-09-2018 08:21
Start of the Tramapatte 25-09-2018 08:20
Palais de Justice de Bruxelles 23-09-2018 08:39
Blake and Mortimer by François Schuiten 23-09-2018 08:19
Ο ΠΥΡΕΤΟΣ ΤΗΣ ΟΥΡΜΠΙΚΑΝΔΗΣ (Greek translations) 22-09-2018 09:12
Gastronomades 2018 22-09-2018 09:02
The Obscure Cities 17-09-2018 08:21
Fièvre d'Urbicande (La) 16-09-2018 10:30
Trappeltram (de) 05-09-2018 18:24
Dragon 02-09-2018 16:15

More changes....

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