The Bottle Houses

As Dana and I travelled, we made a point of stopping when something looked interesting.  A teeny tiny church, a giant goose, that sort of thing.  While on PEI, we drove past a driveway with a 10 foot tall wine bottle at its entrance.  So we stopped.

In our exploration of the southwest part of the island, we’d happened upon The Bottle Houses (Les Maison de Bouteilles).  They’re a collection of small buildings, originally constructed by Edouard Arsenault near Cap-Egmont, right in the heart of Acadian country.  Edouard, a fisherman, carpenter, and WWII veteran, built them in his retirement, inspired by a postcard his daughter sent him in 1979 from BC that showed a glass bottle castle.  He started envisioning his own glass house, and in the summer of 1980, at the age of 66, began collecting and saving bottles from the community.  

Over 25,000 recycled bottles went into three buildings: a chapel, a six-gabled house, and a tavern, all of them set in a garden.  We walked into the chapel first, and it was an extraordinary sight.  

It literally glowed.

Thousands upon thousands of bottles have been stacked and cemented, arranged according to size, colour, and clarity.  The tavern and six-gabled house were equally as stunning.

Edouard passed away years ago, but his family continues to add to his whimsical collection, and now runs The Bottle Houses as a tourist attraction.  They’re open from May to October, and charge $6.50 to have a look.  If you visit, remember: