Experts think these intriguing dwellings carved into the sandstone cliffs at the foot of the Vosges Mountains were constructed in the Middle Ages as barns or storehouses. Monks living at the nearby Benedictine abbey set posts into the rock at the openings to shallow caves and used wood to build outer walls to protect the cave’s contents. In the 1600s, some of the structures were used as houses, and by the 1700s, the wood was replaced by stones.
All of these multi-level homes have the same floorplan with the kitchen and living/sleeping area on the ground floor and a dormitory for the children on an upper level. Other parts of the structure were used to house livestock and store food. The cave dwellings are listed as historical monuments and are now open as a museum of the lives of past inhabitants.