While walking along the River Loire, you’ll come across a house half submerged in its rushing waters. The structure tilts downward at a strange, sad angle as if casting a weary gaze at its soggy surroundings.
Though the house looks like the swept-away victim of some catastrophic flood, it’s actually a replica of an inn in the nearby town of Lavau-sur-Loire. It was unveiled in 2007 as part of the Estuaire Art Exhibition, which invited international artists to create large-scale works inspired by the river and nearby estuary. The house was one of nine pieces of art to crop up in the local environment.
The artist who created La maison dans la Loire (the House in the Loire), Jean-Luc Courcoult, originally placed it in another location. Unfortunately, the river’s swift current swept it right off its foundation and sent it sailing—then sinking. In 2012, the artwork was moved 15 miles to its current location by a company that specializes in salvaging wrecks. It still sits there, with the water lapping endlessly at its edges and the breeze blowing through its open windows. A light within lets off a sad, lonely glow at night.