The oldest still inhabited stone house (at least in Europe) is considered to be a mini-castle located in Aveyron (France). Mentions of this building date back to the 13th century. The masonry has collapsed in some places. However, the house looks very picturesque.
The building has an unusual shape – it is wider at the top than at the bottom. Historians believe that in this way, the house’s first owner managed to circumvent the law of that time. In medieval France, residential buildings were taxed by the authorities according to their area. Since it was measured at the base of the building, one could cheat and make the second and subsequent floors more spacious without overpaying for extra footage.