20 Mar 2018

World’s Narrowest Streets


Spreuerhofstraße, Reutlingen, Germany.

Amusing Planet:

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the narrowest street in the world is located in the old town of Reutlingen, in Germany. It is actually a narrow alley, called Spreuerhofstraße, between two closely built houses. The “street” is only 31 centimeters wide at its narrowest point and 40 centimeters wide on the average. The street isn’t particularly long either — just 3.8 meters. But since it is located on municipal land, the folks of Reutlingen insist it’s a public street.

There’s not much to see in Spreuerhofstrasse, and it isn’t particularly pretty either. In order to use the street one has to squeeze past two blank walls, and when it’s raining, water drips from the gutter of an old half-timbered house on one side. Although a ton of tourists from Asia and America flock to inspect the alley, visitors aren’t necessarily encouraged to squeeze through the crack because there is a good possibility of them getting stuck. Anyone over 1.8 meters tall have to bend to pass through. Some locals are known to humorously refer to the Spreuerhofstrasse as a benchmark measurement for their diets.

The alley was built in 1727 during the reconstruction efforts after the area was completely destroyed in the massive city-wide fire of 1726. In 1820, a town hall administrator decided to elevate the status of this particular gap to that of a full-fledged public street. In 2007 it entered into the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s narrowest street.

At one point the near-derelict half-timbered house (the one on the left on the photo above) started to lean making the street even narrower. Authorities feared that it if leaned too much, the street might become so narrow that humans will no longer be able to use it. In that case the Spreuerhofstraße would lose its status as a “street” together with its record title. The house couldn’t be torn down either because that would make the street too wide. So the city decided to shore up the building and will likely continue to prop this structure up as long as possible.

RTWT

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