The often improvised building practices of 18th century Europe led to countless examples of buildings squashing up against one another, blocking out the sun, and making historic cities more than a little cramped, but as the world’s most narrow street, Reutlingen, Germany’s Spreuerhofstrasse takes this to a new extreme.
The so-called “street,” is really more of an alley, tucked away behind a group of 18th century houses, which were created after a devastating fire in 1727. The tight tunnel extends for over 65 feet with a maximum width no larger than one foot. A child would be hard pressed to fit through, much less any normal-sized adult. Luckily the builders did refrain from placing any doorways along the the length of the street that would themselves be useless and possibly dangerous to passersby.
There are plaques posted at either end of the claustrophobic thoroughfare trumpeting its title as the world’s narrowest street, and as it turns out, it is only getting smaller, which could surprisingly be a bad thing. One of the building walls that makes up the path is slowly leaning into the street’s space. While this increasing narrowness might seem like a boon for an attraction that is based on it, the street is in danger of becoming too small for passersby to fit through. Should this happen, Spreuerhofstrasse would no longer be classified as a street and it would simply be another unremarkable alley.
Know Before You Go
From Reutlingen train station, walk up Gartenstrasse, take the first left and proceed south-east up Mauerstrasse until you see the signposted 'Spreuerhofstrasse'.