Amusingly weird borders – Part 1

Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog political map

Everybody knows what a country border is. It is the imaginary line where a country ends and another one begins. But in some cases a definition as simple as that can be so tricky that you may have to move your house’s door or even live without water if you want to stay loyal to your country because of it. “How is it that those problems come from borders?” you may ask. Well, in this article (series) I’ll be explaining you some of the weirdest borders in the world.

Two door numbers and bells in one door

One of the most well-known devious border is the one between Baarle-Nassau (Netherlands) and Baarle-Hertog (Belgium). This settlement basically consists of half a Dutch city and half a Belgian city within it, both with bits of the other country within them too. A total of 22 Belgian exclaves and 14 Dutch ones are found in the city. Over the map, the borders are a complete chaos, that’s clear – but they are in reality too! Every border is marked – every single one! These borders divide neighbourhoods, streets, shops and even houses. Some people wake up in the Netherlands and take their breakfasts in Belgium. One could even pay at two different tax regimes in different shops in the same street!

But, what does this absolute chaos come from? Well, as well as fairly everything chaotic, it comes from the Medieval Ages. About the 12th century, the Lords of Breda and the Dukes of Brabant negotiated unfortunately a number (big number) of land sales, land swaps and agreements, which left the borders as they are. But it was not up to 1836 when Belgium split from the Netherlands, when they started to be cared about, and it was not until 1995 that they were finally traced clearly up. By the time they were finished, some people thought Belgians were instead Dutch, and vice versa. Instead of gettil all needed papers in order, those people just used a simple trick: they moved their front doors to the country they previously thought they lived in.

If you want to see more, here you have the following links:

No comments:

Post a Comment