And You Think Your Flat is Small

smallest house in paris 1
smallest house in paris todayMeasuring just a little over 1meter wide, 3 meters long and 5 meters high, the property at 39 Rue du Chateau d’Eau is the smallest building in Paris. But how did it get there and what purpose does it serve today?

As is often the case in such examples, the origin of this property seems to have been a dispute. Originally the gap between the two buildings (situated opposite the town hall of the 10th arrondissment and alongside the Marché Saint Martin) was a narrow passageway, but following a disagreement about ownership and access, one of the parties decided to end the argument by filling the space with a new property.

The property was officially recognised with its own number in the street, but was never really more than a tiny shop unit at ground level (originally a shoemaker) with a room above, which actually connects to the first-floor property at number 41.

A newspaper article at the end of the 19th century describes the property, pointing out that the room was home to a baby, the cot apparently taking up the entire space. Peeking up into the open window on the day I passed recently, it seems that it has more recently been converted into a kitchen.

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