Visit of the “Maisons des Rochers”: troglodyte houses in Alsace

by | Updated on 8/11/2023 | Museum and monuments, Museum and monuments (when it rains), On a budget, Open on sundays, Unusual activities, With kids | 0 comments

house-rochers-graufthal

Have you ever heard of the Graufthal Rock Houses? I had already admired these troglodyte houses nestled at the foot of the pink sandstone cliffs from the outside one day but had not yet had the opportunity to visit them. Yes, these incredible blue houses can be visited and it is really worth it!

Where to find troglodyte houses in Alsace?

You will find amazing troglodyte houses that can be visited in Graufthal, in the north of Alsace, not far from La Petite Pierre, in the Vosges du Nord Regional Nature Park.

Visit of the “Maisons des Rochers” in Graufthal near La Petite Pierre

The visit to the Graufthal Rock Houses takes us back in time… But not as far back as one might imagine, since the last one was inhabited until 1958 by Catherine Ottermann. It’s not that old!

The visit allows to discover the history of the place and the inhabitants who lived there, but also to visualize how the houses were arranged. Photos have indeed allowed us to reconstruct the interior of the houses with the antique furniture that was installed.

Even if the layout seems quite nice today, one can imagine how much the living conditions must have been difficultThe house was very cold, both because of the dampness of the rock, the low luminosity and the total absence of modern comforts for a dwelling house… For example, we used to fetch water from the fountain below. We also learn that entire families, and even animals, lived in these small spaces! I heard it wasn’t easy to get the cows in, by the way 😉

Surprisingly, this is also where matches were made in absolutely dantesque conditions… You just have to read the testimonies on the panels of the permanent exhibition to get the full measure of it.

Unique troglodyte houses in Alsace

One can also observe more closely how the troglodytic houses are totally integrated into the imposing pink sandstone walls typical of the Northern Vosges. Indeed, the rock forms the ceiling, the floor and part of the walls of the houses. This is one of the reasons why they were built there: there were only a few walls left to install, making the cost of the house very low… These constructions are really amazing and unique in Alsace.

I liked

  • Unusual visit
  • Discover the history of the place and the life of the former inhabitants
  • Beautiful place
  • Included in the Alsace Pass

I liked a little less

  • Nothing!

My photos of the Maisons des Rochers in Northern Alsace (Bas-Rhin)

Practical information

Days and hours of operation

Les Maisons des Rochers are not open all year round. Please check the website directly for opening days and hours.

Access

By car

Graufthal is located in:

  • 65km from Strasbourg (about 1h)
  • 105 km from Colmar (about 1h40)
  • 150km from Mulhouse (about 2h)
By public transport

You can calculate your route on Fluo Grand Est.

Laurène

Laurène

Laurène est la créatrice du blog Mon week-end en Alsace. Bretonne installée en Alsace depuis 2014, elle est tombée amoureuse de sa région d'adoption au point de lui dédier un blog et d'acheter avec son mari une maison alsacienne dans un village du Kochersberg, près de Strasbourg. A pied, à vélo, sur ses chevaux ou au volant de sa voiture, elle aime partir explorer les moindres recoins de l'Alsace pour dénicher de bonnes adresses à partager sur le blog.

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