Baarle-Nassau – The Entangled Border Town


This week we decided to discover the amazing small belgian and netherlands town named as Baarle-Nassau.

Baarle-Nassau is a town in the south of Netherlands, located in the North Brabant province . As per AllCharts, in 2020, it had a population of around 6500 people. The town is the site of a complicated and entangled borderline between Belgium and the Netherlands, with various small exclaves of the Belgian town Baarle-Hertog, some of which contain counter-exclaves of Nassau.

The border’s complexity results from numerous medieval treaties, agreements, land trades and deals between the then Lords of Breda and the Dukes of Brabant.

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The funny and interesting fact is that you can step over the border lines as many times as you want and nobody will ask for your passport/id. In fact, we came from Almere (A Netherlands city), parked our car in Belgium and visited this town. We also did have a coffee over the border and not to mention Belgian French Fries.

One of the most amazing fact is that though being a border town, the residents work alongside each other and its a tension-free space which demonstrate a great teaching of living in harmony. Nonetheless, Baarle-Nassau is a town rich in history.

Starting our exploration in the town, the first thing we see is the Heemhuis. Previously in the year 1877 to 1986, this was the town hall of Baarle-Hertog but since the 1989, it is now the house of Heemkundekring Amalia van Solms.

Heemhuis

You also have the Dodendraadroute where you can see the peace monument “De Dodendraad” which was erected in 2008. It is a faithful reconstruction on the original site of a piece of 2,000-volt electrical wire barrier from the First World War that the Germans placed to separate occupied Belgium from the neutral Netherlands.

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Walking further around the church, across the street we see the following monument which is a commemoration of the The Liberation Route. The Liberation Route lets you experience what happened around Arnhem and Nijmegen in 1944 -1945. On the 1st of October 1944, the 1st Polish Armoured Division enters the Netherlands to the south of Baarle-Nassau. The inhabitants, scared and terrified, sought refuge in shelters. 28 days later, Baarle was liberated.

Houses and Streets of Baarle-Nassau

As we went to visit the town during COVID times, there were very few people out and many shops were closed. It was very calm and easy to navigate through the streets and admire the houses around. Indeed it was a well day spent and if you are in Netherlands, we would definitely recommend you to visit this amazing town.

Baarle-Nassau on Maps

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