The Suitcase Lady


December 22, 2020, 7:52 am

How would you like to live inside a star or a snowflake? If you think the holiday season has melted my brain, guess again. It is entirely possible to live within either of these shapes.

Here is an aerial view of the village of Bourtange in the Netherlands. Built by William the Orange and completed in 1593, Fort Bourtange cut off a supply route on the only road to neighboring Germany, an enemy at the time. The fort functioned until 1851 when it was converted into a stellar village, a suburb of Groningen. It’s not the only star-shaped village in Europe, and all were built for defense purposes.

Wikipedia- Bourtange

Snowflakes are infinitely more complex shapes than stars, but a town exists that mimics that shape as well. Naarden, 30 minutes east of Amsterdam, also began as a fortification. With a beautiful church at the center, the city radiates out to six triangular points.

Wikipedia- Naarden

If stars and snowflakes aren’t your thing, you could move to Brasilia, a city that was built from scratch starting In 1956. Plotted by Lúcio Costa,  it is the shape of a bird or airplane. The wings are residential neighborhoods, the body hosts federal and civic buildings. In 1959, Brasilia’s population was 64,000. Today it is home to over 2 million residents, and suburbs ring the original avian shape.

Original plan of Brasilia

And, finally, popular folk mythology purports that the city of Cuzco, Peru, was built in the shape of a puma, an animal sacred to the Incas who founded the city. Although no historical proof of this exists, the local residents totally embrace the idea that they are living in a puma-shaped town. I, too, would love living in a big cat

Street sign in Cuzco



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