"Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog" Baarle-Nassau by OlafS

Baarle-Nassau Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 43 photos

One village, two names, two countries

Some things are so complicated that they really should be solved. Others are so complicated that they are far too interesting to solve. Baarle-Nassau is an example of the latter. It's probably the strangest village in Europe. To start making it complicated; Belgium calls this place Baarle-Hertog. Why I mention this? Because most of this village belongs to Belgium. This village is completely surrounded by Dutch territory, which makes it a Belgian enclave. To add to the confusion; Baarle-Hertog is not really just one enclave, it is a series of enclaves. Small pieces of land. The land between, and sometimes even within these enclaves, belongs to the Netherlands and is called Baarle-Nassau. No wonder this place calls itself the biggest jigsaw-puzzle in the world. The two governments didn't agree on the borders until the 1980's. And still they forgot a small piece of land, which now belongs to nobody.
Some houses stand in two countries at the same time, a smugglers paradise!

The village itself isn't so interesting. There's little to see and not so much to do either, except for shopping, eating and drinking. But it is fun to experience the situation.

  • Intro Updated Aug 31, 2004
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