The Curious Case of the Complicated Border: The Story of Baarle

Dutch International Society Magazine 47 (4):11-17 (2016)
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History has left a territory composed of two municipalitics, whose shape is unique, belonging partly to the Netherlands and partly to Belgium. Earlier both parts belonged to the former Duchy of Brabant, a tenitory that is now split up into the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant (including Baarle-Nassau) and thc Belgian provinces of Antwerp (which includes Baarle-Hertog), Vlaams Brabant, Brussels, and Brabant-Wallon. People are quite comfortable with this situation, even though it raises many complicated and difficult problems that even the most brilliant jurists are puzzled. Baarle-Hertog is called on older Belgian maps Barle-Duc (Hertog = Duke, fr: duc) and must not be confused with the prefectoral town of Bar-le-Duc, Meuse, France.

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Barry Smith
University at Buffalo


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