Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps

Nine pile dwellings are located on the shores of Lake Constance in Baden-Württemberg. Nine more are listed in Upper Swabia, south of Augsburg and at Lake Starnberg. Together with 93 further sites in France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia, they represent an archaeological legacy that dates back almost 7,000 years.

In Unteruhldingen on Lake Constance north of Friedrichshafen, wooden posts in the water still serve as reminders of the houses that once stood there. This special type of construction was an early settlement form in Europe. It offered people protection against enemies and predators, while providing access to the water and nearby shores for fishing and farming. At the museum and prehistoric pile village in Unteruhldingen, the trail featuring a barefoot track and interactive Stone Age experiences will take you on a journey back in time.

Following archaeological excavations, some of the pile dwellings were reconstructed from 1922 onwards and a small museum was established to house the numerous finds. Thanks to scientific analysis, it is now possible to accurately date the structures of entire settlements and document the history of the villages and their environment.

Textiles, dugout canoes, wagons and wheels – the oldest wheels in Europe dating from around 3,000 BC were found here – build up a picture of trading, agriculture, livestock rearing and mobility in the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Age, as well as fascinating insights into the village life of early farmers and fishermen.

Today, the museum and prehistoric pile village in Unteruhldingen is one of the largest open-air archaeological museums in Europe.

The Federsee Museum in Bad Buchau and State Archaeological Museum in Constance also vividly depict the history of our ancestors.

Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps

UNESCO World Heritage since 2011

From the selection criteria

  • The Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age pile dwellings around the Alps provide unique insights into the world of early peasants, their everyday lives,
    agriculture, stock farming and technical innovations.

  • These include the invention of wheel and wagon around 3400 v. Chr. and the emergence of copper,
    then bronze metallurgy which led to a revolution in social relations from 2000 BC on.

Information and Contact

Pfahlbauten-Informationszentrum Baden-Württemberg,
Landesamt Für Denkmapflege
Fischersteig 9
78343 Gaienhofen-Hemmenhofen
Tel. +49 7735-93 77 71 18

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