Friday, October 24, 2008

Photo Story Friday On the Border

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Last Tuesday I visited the village of Baarle Nassau.
The village of Baarle Nassau is a Dutch/Belgian border village
with a very unique feature.There is no straight border.
In fact, the actual border is a jigsaw puzzle of pieces
of Belgian territory on Dutch soil and vice versa.

Take a look at this map. ( Source: Wikkipedia)

Baarle consists of two municipallities, it has two nationalities, yet it is only one village.
Half of a street can be Dutch while the opposite side is Belgian,
and sometimes that border can run right THROUGH a house.
This house has two different house numbers, one in Belgium and one in Holland.

The people living here could sleep in Holland, and have breakfast in their kitchen in Belgium.
It can even get worse. If that border runs across your bed,
technically speaking your husband sleeps abroad every night!

There is a very amusing story about a pub with two doors.
Sadly enough, the pub is gone now, but still ...
This pub was called " 't Hoekske", which means " the Corner",
and it had the Belgian border running through it right across the pool table.
(You could play pool across the border there)
Closing time in Holland was slightly earlier, but the Belgian side of the pub
remained open, while Dutch pub door was closed, according to the regulations of the law.
The remaining customers enjoyed another beer at the right side of the border.

When real estate was sold there would be a Belgian and a Dutch notary present
and they would each (very conveniently) sit in their own national section
of the pub to handle all the necessary paperwork.

In the mid seventies, there was this Dutch movie which had been X rated in Belgium.
There is only one movie theatre in Baarle, and they were planning on showing it there.
So they built a fence that followed the borderline inside the theatre.
The audience and the projectors were at the Dutch side of the theatre,
while the Belgian police remained on Belgian soil to keep an eye on things ...

And this is how the Belgians and the Dutch live there in perfect harmony ...