Several different macrocyclic liquid crystals consisting of two calamitic 2-phenylpyrimidine or 5-phenylpyrimidine units connected at both ends by polyether or alkyl chains have been synthesised by macrocyclisation reactions under high dilution conditions. The nature of the rigid core has a strong impact on the liquid crystalline phases formed. All 2-phenylpyrimidine paracyclophanes show nematic phases, whereas for the series of the 5-phenylpyrimidine derivatives smectic A-phases are exclusively formed. This behaviour is related to conventional calamitic phenylpyrimidine liquid crystals, but the mesophases are strongly stabilised in the macrocycles. An exchange of polyether chains by alkyl chains leads to significant mesophase stabilisation, whereas increasing the spacer length reduces mesophase stability. Pre-organization of the calamitic cores and micro-segregation of chemically distinct molecular parts are discussed as reasons for the observed effects of molecular structure on the mesophase behaviour of these compounds.