Inverted Boat Houses – Équihen-Plage, France - Atlas Obscura

Inverted Boat Houses

Équihen-Plage, France

These rustic holiday homes are made from discarded fishing boat hulls.  


A holiday destination in Equihen-Plage, in the North of France, is reviving an old tradition of building houses out of discarded boat hulls. In the past, this type of unconventional abode was made by poor fishermen and, in some cases, their widows.

The hulls, after receiving a waterproof coating of tar, become the roofs. They’re then raised on small brick-and-mortar walls that only allow for a small bit of headroom. Doors and windows are then cut out from the hulls. The interiors of these houses, which are typically single-room, are quite dark and cramped.

This kind of house was mainly used by fishermen in the 19th and 20th centuries as makeshift shelters or cheap homes. Today, they serve as a niche tourist attraction.

Most of the original boat houses were destroyed during World War II, and it seemed that this piece of coastal heritage would be lost forever. But in the 1990s, interest in the houses resurged, leading some to reconstruct inverted boat houses and use them as rustic holiday accomodations.

Know Before You Go

You can make a reservation to stay in one of these unusual houses online.

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