Lonely Planet Writer

Is this the quirkiest Airbnb yet? Stay inside a 17th century wall in Germany

Booking an Airbnb can mean spending the night in offbeat, one-of-a-kind places like California’s Flintstone House, the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, and now a wall in Butzbach, Germany that dates back to the late 17th century.

The wall house in Butzbach.
The wall house in Butzbach. Image by WOLFGANG EILMES/FRankfurter Allgemeine

Measuring about 300 square feet (28 square meters), the wall home is tiny — though perhaps not any more so than a typical New York City hotel room. The layout, however, sets it apart. Packed into the long, narrow structure, there are three separate floors, featuring everything a traveler would need for a pleasant, cozy stay.

The first floor dining room and kitchen.
The first floor dining room and kitchen. Image by Franziska and Georg Dier

The dining room and kitchen (with a washing machine) are on the first floor, the second floor features a bedroom and bathroom with a standing shower, and the third floor houses a tiny living room with big windows overlooking a courtyard below.

The view from the fourth floor.
The view from the fourth floor. Image by Franziska and Georg Dier

There’s also a terrace on the fourth floor. Once the battlement of the wall, now guests can relax at the table and chairs, peacefully taking in the rooftops of the surrounding town. The cobblestoned street entrance and vaulted stone arches inside add to the home’s charm.

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Whereas Butzbach once had roughly 100 of these wall homes, there are four left in the town today, and only three of them can be inhabited. Originally built as storage sheds, the walls later housed Butzbach’s poorest citizens. According to the building’s owners, Franziska and Georg Dier, up to ten people at a time lived there, including shoemakers, potters, and locksmiths.

The wall house in Germany.
The wall house in Germany. Image by Franziska and Georg Dier

Chickens, goats, and pigs lived on the first floor. In 2005, the homes got an award winning makeover, with architect Sabine Schleicher undertaking the daunting restoration process. Creative elements were added to maximize the space, like specially-designed staircases.

The third floor living room.
The third floor living room. Image by Franziska and Georg Dier

The town of Butzbach is located in Germany’s state of Hessen, just north of Frankfurt and close to Wiesbaden, one of Europe’s oldest Roman spa towns.

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