Why has an old house been floating in the middle of a French river for 14 years?


There are a lot of amazing things on our huge planet – something created by nature itself, and something by people. As for man-made attractions, sometimes they are very extravagant. In France, near the city of Nantes, right in the middle of the Loire River there is an unusual three-storey house known as La maison dans la Loire (House in the Loire).

This original attraction has long attracted the attention of many tourists who go to admire the beautiful nature by the river. If you look at the “House in the Loire” from the shore, it looks pretty creepy: it seems that this structure has become a victim of a catastrophic flood, and it is carried downstream. But in reality, everything is much simpler and at the same time more interesting: this strange mansion was placed in the waters of the Loire intentionally. Who did it, when and why? 

In 2007, the Estuaire international art exhibition was held in France, in which the creators, inspired by the view of the Loire River and the nearby estuary, created large-scale installations and other works of art. La maison dans la Loire is one of nine unusual creations that appeared in that period in this area. The author of this original work is the French architect Jean-Luc Courcult.

If a floating House looks quite unusual and strange during the day, then when it gets dark, and especially when gusts of wind howl through the windows, it becomes creepy. And even more people are afraid of the light, which lights up in one of the rooms with the coming of darkness – agree, hardly anyone expects to see this in an abandoned house standing in the middle of the river. The “House in Loire” is modeled after a former hotel from the commune of Lavaux-sur-Loire. Rather, it is an exact replica of the hotel, made of cast concrete. 

And the hotel building is in its former place, only now there is already a pancake house there. Initially, Jean-Luc Courcult installed the structure closer to the right bank of the river, but a strong river current demolished it, and then completely overturned it. Only 5 years later, in 2012, the mansion was installed where it is now – near the village of Lavaux-sur-Loire. The relocation and final installation of the original installation was handled by a company specializing in rescue operations.

And so that the water no longer demolished the building, it was securely attached to the bottom with powerful piles. The place for the installation of the house was not chosen by chance by Jean-Luc Courcult, because in the warm season thousands of tourists always come here to admire the beautiful natural landscapes. 

Curious travelers bring a lot of money to the village of Lavaux-sur-Loire, some of which the local authorities annually spend on maintaining an unusual project in proper condition. Do you think at least once someone tried to swim to the mysterious building and see what’s inside? Although, for security reasons, this is probably prohibited by law, but there are always curious daredevils who are not stopped by anything.

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