Category: Patrimoine

Which streets compete for the title of the narrowest street in the world versus the Androuno?

Where is the narrowest street in the world ?

National Geographic, the midday news of the main French channel TF1, Ouest France, France 3, France Bleu… Everyone recognizes it and there is any doubt: Gassin has the narrowest street in the world!

This does not prevent certain localities around the world from trying to compete for this title.

So, let’s take a little tour of the almost narrowest streets in the world!

Where is the narrowest street in the world ?
Where is the narrowest street in the world ?

The Fan Tan Alley is not quite as narrow

Very far from our medieval village and its 2,500 souls, the first competitor is located in the metropolis of Victoria, the capital of the province of British Columbia in Canada. The excess of the population is found – unfortunately for this competitor – in the excess of narrowness.

Indeed, this alley measures 90 centimeters at its narrowest point… It has various businesses, which sometimes earn it the name of the narrowest commercial street in North America… This takes us significantly away from the universality of the title to which Androuno is entitled.

As its name suggests – it refers to a Chinese game of chance – it is located in the “Chinatown” district where opium dens were once located. It appears in the film Bird on a Wire: Mel Gibson, riding a motorcycle, crosses it.

The Mårten Trotzigs Gränd: the little street that came from the North

Was the Mårten Trotzig alley created to bring locals together on very cold days? This competitor comes from Sweden, more precisely from the old quarter of Stockholm. It shrinks to only reach 90 centimeters at its narrowest point. It undoubtedly has the title of the narrowest street in Stockholm… and perhaps in Sweden, but certainly not in the world!

It had different names in its history before returning to the name it had in the 17th century, that of a rich merchant who owned several properties on the street. He died murdered in 1617 during a trip… For tourism as for the narrowest street, it is definitely better to choose Gassin!

Exeter’s Parliament Street, a good point for participation

Parliament street is a relatively long street in this ranking since it extends over 50 meters… But that is not the purpose of this ranking.

And the city of Exeter, in Devon in England, will not be able to compete with Androuno in terms of narrowness. At its narrowest point it measures 64 centimeters (and approximately 1.22 meters at its widest).

The Strada Sforii: good, but can do less

The Street of the Rope takes us to the borders of Europe, to the city of Brașov in Romania. Dating from the 17th century, it was designed so that firefighters could access the perpendicular streets and adjacent buildings in the event of a fire.

80 meters long, its width varies between 111 and 135 centimeters, almost a meter more than Androuno! With such dimensions, Gassin could compete with Rue de la Tasco or Rue des Templiers!

Paris thinks big with its two streets but does not exceed qualifications

The French capital, which has no less than 6,500 streets, believed it could participate in this tough competition for the narrowest street. But its two best contenders, Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche (the Street of the Cat that fishes) and the Sentier des Merisiers (Cherry Tree Path), are far from being at the level this season.

The first, with its 180 centimeters wide, could not only let a man pass from the front, but also lengthwise! It is rather relegation that it can aspire to.

The rue des Merisiers rivals the narrowest of the narrowest streets with its 90 centimeters wide. We are far from the double here, and any comeback seems out of reach.

But nothing is lost for Paris: perhaps to reduce the presence of cars, the decision will soon be taken to create streets allowing, like Androuno, only the passage of one man? In any case, if you come to discover Gassin and Androuno, know that all the parking lots in the town are free!

In Venice, the Italian record takes on water

Venice’s Calle Varisco is 53 centimeters at its narrowest point! We are still far from the record…

This street could potentially claim another record, that of multimodal character: if you enter on foot, you can only leave by boat.

Klančić Street

Vrbnik resembles Gassin in several aspects: this Croatian village has only a few hundred inhabitants. If Gassin is perched on the Saint-Tropez peninsula, Vrbnik is located on the island of Krk. Both territories are also known for their vineyards. And, of course, both have one of the narrowest streets in the world.

At its narrowest, Klančić Street measures only about forty centimeters. And if Gassin is the village of witches, here, this alley would be the work of “malčić”, local little devils… Do not hesitate to visit the page dedicated by the Croatian tourist office to find out more!

A serious competitor in France: rue de l’Enfer

Located in Les Sables-d’Olonnes, the Rue de l’Enfer (Street of Hell !) measures 40 cm wide on the ground and 46.5 cm at 1 m from the ground at its narrowest point.

Thanks to the kindness of one of its inhabitants, it was possible to verify that this alley, a serious competitor, did not seriously challenge Androuno’s title.

Spreuerhofstraße: the main competitor of Androuno misses the title by… 2 centimeters!

Spreuerhofstraße is located in Reutlingen in the state of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. This industrial town has, in the residential area around Mauerstraße, a passage between two houses, which was called Spreuerhofstraße.

At its narrowest point, it is close to the Androuno record: it measures 31 centimeters. At its widest point, it measures 50 centimeters. It would be contemporary with Androuno since it would have been designed during the reconstruction of this part of the city after a fire in 1726.

Androuno is indeed the narrowest street in the world!

With its narrowest 29 centimeters, Androuno is indeed the narrowest street in the world.

Witch prank? Sheep selection and counting tools? Obligation for an armed man to present his side?

According to geographers, these “covered passages provide effective ramparts against the onslaught of the mistral, the summer heatwave, spring showers or snow showers”. This is why we find many streets of this type in the Mediterranean.

“La rue la plus étroite du monde à Gassin”, L’Express n° 3445 du 12 au 18 juillet 2017.