Keeping barbarians out

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The question is not: “How could fifty guys and a couple crates keep 50,000 students off university for a week?”


The real question is: “Why would one build a campus in the middle of Paris and surround it with a moat?”


  1. Your title is wrong.
    You seem to have the word ‘out’ confused with the word ‘in’.

    Moats are useful 🙂

  2. Moats are indeed useful, but still a strange architectural feature in modern buildings. My favorite building in SF, a high-rise tower on Market St. also has a moat designed for it. Go figure.

    There are much better methods of security than a ring stagnant water.

  3. Uh, I think the rationale was that if push came to shove, you could easily keep rioting students in. As far as I’m aware, the Jussieu campus was mostly planned according to crowd-control criteria. That’s why it sucks for about everything else (plus, it is about the second windiest place in paris, after the BN (TGB) esplanade, on which I froze my boobs off the other day.)

  4. Podz

    Indeed, such a plan would make sense, if there was in fact a way to go in


    Well, this one is a dry moat (having a ring of stagnant water around a urban campus would just be weird). Still not the greatest security measure. And especially, security against what? Mongol hords? It’s not like there’s any other sort of security at the door (when it’s not blockaded, anybody can get in without the slightest gate-check).


    It IS windy. I was recently told that the original design was intended for much warmer climates… I guess they just couldn’t sell the plans to Brasilia…

    Unknown Girl

    Err… Of course you can!
    If you would just first sign this form stating on your honor that you are not an axe-wielding psychopathic stalker…
    Otherwise, as I answered before: there are a few pics of my funny-looking mug, plastered around the archives: I guess you’ll just have to dig for them 🙂 If can’t be bothered to look around, there’s always this one naked picture of me on Flickr (I haven’t changed a whole lot ever since).

  5. On my honor I am not an axe-wielding psychopathic stalker… Is that all right?! 🙂

  6. I think the reason that Jussieu has a moat is so that if ever the students try to riot on the campus, the CRS can trap them by blocking the entrances…

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