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The circular villages of the Wendland region.

The circular villages of the Wendland region.

Examples of the distinctively shaped circular villages can be seen in the Elbe Valley-Wendland region of Lower Saxony – for instance at the Rundlingsmuseum Wendlandhof in Lübeln. The oldest ones date back several hundred years. What makes these compact villages so unusual is that the gabled fronts of the farmhouses (mostly barn-like constructions typical of northern Germany), all face towards a central green. This ancient settlement formation originated in the Middle Ages and nothing quite like it exists anywhere else in the world.