Smallest house in Brussels up for auction

BRUSSELS Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:52am EST

1 of 4. A woman walks past the smallest house in Brussels (C) on a street just off Brussels' main square January 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yves Herman

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Cosy might be the best word to describe the smallest house in Brussels, which is about to go up for auction.

The centuries-old former furniture workshop and creperie a stone's throw from the Belgian capital's picturesque central square is just 2.75 meters wide and has a ground floor only 1.75 meters (5 foot 9 inches) across.

"There's a lot of interest and there are also a lot of tourists who want to see it," said Claude Rotsart de Hertaing, a Brussels pensioner who works part time showing prospective buyers around houses.

The dilapidated five-floor Belgian townhouse, just off the central Grand Place square, has "La plus petite maison de Bruxelles" (The smallest house in Brussels) written across a faded wooden sign above the entrance.

It is not Europe's narrowest however, which tourist officials in Slovakia believe could be a 1.3 meter wide house in its capital Bratislava.

The Brussels house, squeezed between a pizzeria and a souvenir shop, has floors each of about 16 meters squared, apart from the ground floor which is even tighter as it has a pathway running to a courtyard down the side.

On one floor it has a potentially inviting fireplace, but you might singe your knees if you sat facing it on an armchair.

The house will be auctioned on February 6, starting at a price of 146,200 euros ($194,700).

($1 = 0.7510 euros)

(Reporting By Ben Deighton)

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