These Tiny German Homes Are Actually Inside a Wall (And You Can Stay There!)

published Mar 12, 2017
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You don’t have to be a member of the Night’s Watch to defend this wall. With a mere click on Airbnb and $55, this tiny home in Butzbach, Germany’s medieval wall (yes, in the wall!) can be under your care for the night.

While there are certainly no shortage of quirky and famous Airbnbs to be had, according to German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine, these particular homes are record-breaking. Record-breakingly small, that is: the three medieval houses located on the Mauerstrasse (walled street) are just 300 square feet (28 square meters). The homes are situated on three floors, each floor measuring approximately a mere 6.5 feet deep by 25 feet wide.

Two of the three homes underwent an extensive (and award-winning) rehabilitation in 2005 to the tune of two years and 200,000 euros (after being purchased for just 2,500 euros total!). The rehab of these teeny houses was made that much more difficult by their position on a cramped street which measures just six feet wide. A crane had to be brought in to enable major structural work.

Entering the homes, you step immediately into the dining room which then flows into the cramped-yet-fully-equipped-kitchen. A specially designed wooden staircase provides entrance to the second floor sleeping quarters and modern bathroom. The “living room,” or perhaps more apt, the home’s sitting room is located on the third floor. A beautiful stone archway limits livable space in the room, allowing only enough room for two small chairs. The wall’s former rampart now serves as the home’s roof terrace.

Each home is punctuated by awkwardly positioned archway pillars, unusual dimensions, but most of all, by historic charm. While the Airbnb listing says you can “live like 1750,” a scientific dating of the home’s wooden beams showed that one of the ground floor’s struts dates to the year 1696. The original year of the cottage’s construction is not known, however.

(Image credit: Wolfgang Eilmes/Frankfurter Allgemeine)

What is known is that these spaces were never originally intended for habitation. These spaces within the walls were initially constructed as storage sheds after Butzbach’s population exploded during the 15th century. The spaces then became accommodation for mercenaries and later housed the city’s poorest citizens. In fact, historic German records indicate that up to 10 people lived in these homes at any time—a fact that’s made even more astounding when considering how little of today’s necessities can fit inside the homes.

Thirsty for more on teeny tiny homes? See the latest in our Small Spaces category. And for my personal tips on cohabitating in small spaces (even with your polar opposite) check this out.