Enceinte

Enceinte

[en-seynt, ahn-sant; Fr. ahn-sant]
Enceinte (Lat. in, within, cinctus, girdled; to be distinguished from the word meaning pregnant, from in, not, and cinctus, i.e. with girdle loosened), is a French term used technically in fortification for the inner ring of fortifications surrounding a town.

Strictly, the term was applied to the continuous line of bastions and curtains forming the body of the place, this last expression being often used as synonymous with enceinte. However, the outworks or defensive wall close to the enceinte were not considered as forming part of it. In modern fortification, the enceinte is usually simply the innermost continuous line of fortifications.

In architecture, generally, an enceinte is the close or precinct of a cathedral, abbey, castle, etc.

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