Baarle-Nassau town hall
By G.Lanting – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17768314
Baarle-Nassau is a municipality and a town in the southern Netherlands, located in North Brabant province. It had a population of 6,626 in 2014.
It is closely linked, with complicated borders, to the Belgian exclaves of Baarle-Hertog. Baarle-Hertog consists of 26 separate pieces of land. Apart from the main piece (called Zondereigen) located north of the Belgian town of Merksplas, there are 22 Belgian exclaves in the Netherlands and three other pieces on the Dutch-Belgian border. There are also six Dutch exclaves located within the largest Belgian exclave, one within the second-largest, and an eighth within Zondereigen. The smallest Belgian parcel, H22, measures 2,632 square metres (about 28,330 square feet).
The border’s complexity results from a number of equally complex medieval treaties, agreements, land-swaps and sales between the Lords of Breda and the Dukes of Brabant. Generally speaking, predominantly agricultural or built environments became constituents of Brabant, other parts devolved to Breda. These distributions were ratified and clarified as a part of the borderline settlements arrived at during the Treaty of Maastricht in 1843.
For clarification and the interest of tourists, the border is made visible on all streets with iron pins. This way it is always clear whether one is in Belgium (Baarle-Hertog) or in The Netherlands (Baarle-Nassau). This is also visible on the house numbers: the style of house numbers is different in both countries and often one will find the Dutch or Belgian flag next to the number.
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Border between Netherlands and Belgium in Baarle-Nassau
By User:Jérôme – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1564073