Is baarle-hertog in Belgium? is baarle-nassau in Netherlands? Why are baarle-hertog and baarle-nassau, so confusing? where is the border between baarle-hertog and baarle-nassau?
Life is full of surprises, so are some of the international borders!
Complicated borders aren’t always annoying, like the ones between cities of Baarle-Nassau in the Netherlands that shares its land with the Belgian city of Baarle-Hertog. look at them in the map below:
Baarle-Hertog has 22 enclaves inside Baarle-Nassau and if you aren’t satisfied with the uniqueness of this border yet, let me mention that there are 7 Dutch enclaves inside those Belgian enclaves!
It looks something like this:
How did it happen
Their borders weren’t always this strange though! It all started a few hundred years ago, even before Belgium was a country.
Trades between the Lords of Breda and the Dukes of Brabant, agreements and land swaps made it as it is today.
How do they deal with it
They do show all of their borders by iron pins on the ground which clearly says where is where and attracts a lot of tourists to this area every year!
There’s no passport checking while crossing an EU country to another, so it’s not a big deal in terms of daily living but it separates some houses and shops right from the middle!
Fortunately, the owners have the option to be counted as Belgian or Dutch which is visible from house numbers because these countries use different styles and for more clarification, most of these homes and shops have the flag of their chosen country at the door.
City Hall of baarle-hertog/baarle-nassau
They have one City Hall with two mayors as representatives of their city. Every single task has to get approved by both of them, even changing light in the city hall’s bathroom.
Let’s pray for a world with no borders (Or at least borders like these!).