Museum of Lake Dwellings on Lake Constance


The Lake Dwelling Museum in the village of Unteruhldingen on Lake Constance (or in German the Bodensee) is an open air museum containing replicas of prehistoric houses built on stilts above the water.

The museum was founded in 1922 as an initiative by the village mayor and it was then that the first two houses were erected on the north bank of the lake. Today the museum also comprises an archaeological research institute.


The museum contains 23 wooden dwellings which stand partly on the banks of the lake and partly over the water. The houses are linked to each other by footbridges made of wooden planks. Many of the buildings have thatched roofs and clay walls. Archaeological finds from Stone Age and Bronze Age lake dwellings discovered in the vicinity of the museum were used as a blueprint for reconstructing the dwellings. The houses are open to the public and inside are displays about life in both the Stone and Bronze Ages. The text panels and explanations are in German and English.

Also on display here are replicas of historical utensils including basket traps, tools for making fire, a contraption with a file for making holes in stones, cooking utensils, axes and spearheads made of stone and bronze.

In total 111 sites have been found in six countries within the Alpine region, where lake dwellings once stood in the prehistoric era. As a group they appear on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

There is another article on this website about lake dwellings (sometimes known as stilt houses), see  Lake Ledro in Italy. Other examples are also known in many other parts of the world, including Ireland and Scotland, where they are called crannogs (see )



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