World’s Smallest Hotel Was Built Because of an Old Marriage Law

H.Helmlechner, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

Eh'häusl Hotel in Amberg, Germany, is easy to miss. Crammed between two houses, the building measures just 8 feet wide, making it the smallest hotel on earth, according to Guinness World Records.

The space's interior takes up 570 square feet across seven floors. Inside, guests—a maximum of two at a time—have their choice of cozy nooks to relax in, including a bedroom, a fireside lounge, a salon, and a bathroom with a whirlpool tub.

Whirlpool tub inside bathroom.

The hotel's unique history makes it the perfect romantic destination. Couples wishing to marry in 18th-century Amberg had to provide proof of landownership to the city before they could tie the knot. In 1728, a businessman saw a way around the law and built a "house" by putting up some walls and roof in an alleyway just 8 feet and 2 inches wide. Instead of belonging to one permanent owner, the house was sold to a property-less bride and groom, who then sold the house to another couple, and so on. The building is known as Eh'häusl today, a name which means "wedding house" in the local dialect.

Bedroom inside hotel.

While the Eh'häusl is no longer used as a legal loophole (it's now owned and managed by a municipal agency and run as a bona fide hotel), the idea of passing off occupancy from one couple to the next remains. The hotel's website reads, "As soon as the guest receives the key, he or she is the temporary owner of this miniature sanctuary ... Close your eyes for a moment and you will understand why you don't need a concierge. You will have the feeling that you have arrived home!"

You can book your stay at the historic landmark for €240 (about $280) a night—just make sure to pack light if you want more legroom.

[h/t Country Living]

Images courtesy of Eh'häusl.

New LEGO Sets Let You Recreate the Iconic Skylines of San Francisco and Paris

In 2016, LEGO began releasing architecture-themed sets that let toy-loving designers recreate the world’s most famous skylines in their own homes, beginning with re-creations of New York, Venice, and Berlin. And now, the company is adding Paris and San Francisco to the mix, according to Archinect.

The new LEGO Architecture kit for Paris will feature the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe (both already available as stand-alone skyscraper kits) as well as the Louvre, the Tour Montparnasse, and other famous buildings. The LEGO San Francisco kit features the Golden Gate Bridge, the Transamerica Pyramid, Coit Tower, 555 California (formerly the Bank of America Center), Alcatraz Island, and the new Salesforce Tower, which recently became the city’s tallest building.

LEGO sets of the Paris and San Francisco skylines
LEGO

No doubt residents of both cities will have some gripes about which buildings were included and which were nixed from the kits. The Tour Montparnasse, in particular, was so deeply loathed upon its completion in the 1970s that the city of Paris promptly imposed a strict height restriction on buildings taller than 11 stories. Meanwhile, many San Francisco residents are still adjusting to the sight of the Salesforce Tower, which opened in 2018—it has been called “an atrocious spectacle,” its height described as “really offensive.”

You can check out all the kits from LEGO’s Architecture line here. Keep an eye out for the San Francisco and Paris versions starting early next year.

[h/t Architect]

The Tuscan Castle You've Always Dreamed of Owning Can Be Yours for $18.3 Million

Sammezzano Castle
Sammezzano Castle
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

If you’ve ever dreamed of living like Tuscan nobility, now is the time. Sammezzano Castle, a centuries-old palatial home located just outside Florence, Italy, is for sale, and it could be yours for just $18.3 million, according to Curbed.

The three-floor (plus basement!) castle was first built in the early 1600s, but the current building was renovated in the mid-19th century by Italian politician and architect Ferdinando Panciatichi Ximenes d'Aragona, who added the eclectic Moorish-inspired elements found throughout.

A cavernous ceiling in a castle
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

Colorful tile ceilings in Sammezzano Castle
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

At more than 58,000 square feet, the castle has 365 different rooms, each with a name and a decorative theme, including the Peacock Room and the White Room. It has previously served as a luxury hotel, spa, and golf club, though it’s been largely closed to the public since the 1990s. (It opens for a few limited guided tours per year.)

A hallway in Sammezzano Castle
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

A room in Sammezzano Castle with arched ceilings and intricate tile work
Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

The building is surrounded by a sprawling park and preserve that’s home to the largest group of giant sequoias in Italy.

Sounds like quite the Instagram wonderland. Interested? See the full listing at Coldwell Banker.

[h/t Curbed]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER