Last updated
Baarle-Nassau town hall
Baarle-Nassau flag.svg
Baarle-Nassau wapen.svg
Coat of arms
Map - NL - Municipality code 0744 (2009).svg
Location in North Brabant
Coordinates: 51°27′N4°56′E / 51.450°N 4.933°E / 51.450; 4.933 Coordinates: 51°27′N4°56′E / 51.450°N 4.933°E / 51.450; 4.933
Country Netherlands; however, the Dutch municipality of Baarle-Nassau totally surrounds numerous small exclaves of Belgium.
Province North Brabant
  Body Municipal council
   Mayor Marjon de Hoon-Veelenturf (CDA)
  Total76.21 km2 (29.42 sq mi)
  Land76.16 km2 (29.41 sq mi)
  Water0.05 km2 (0.02 sq mi)
28 m (92 ft)
 (August 2017) [4]
  Density89/km2 (230/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code 013
Border between Netherlands and Belgium in Baarle-Nassau. Baarle-Nassau frontiere cafe.jpg
Border between Netherlands and Belgium in Baarle-Nassau.

Baarle-Nassau ( Loudspeaker.svg pronunciation  ) is a municipality and town in the southern Netherlands, located in province of North Brabant. It had a population of 6,803 in 2017. The town is the site of a complicated borderline between Belgium and Netherlands, with numerous small exclaves of Belgium, of which some contain counter-exclaves of the Netherlands.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands, informally Holland, is a country in Northwestern Europe with some overseas territories in the Caribbean. In Europe, it consists of 12 provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba—it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. In the northern parts of the country, Low German is also spoken.

North Brabant Province of the Netherlands

North Brabant, also unofficially called Brabant, is a province in the south of the Netherlands. It borders the provinces of South Holland and Gelderland to the north, Limburg to the east, Zeeland to the west, and Belgium to the south. The northern border follows the Meuse westward to its mouth in the Hollands Diep strait, part of the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta.





Topographic map of the municipality of Baarle-Nassau, June 2015.

The border with Baarle-Hertog, Belgium

Baarle-Nassau 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, H7, locally named De Loversche Akkers, measures 2,469 square metres (26,580 sq ft).

Baarle-Hertog Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Baarle-Hertog, known as Baerle-Duc in French, is a Flemish municipality of Belgium, much of which consists of a number of small Belgian exclaves in the Netherlands.

Merksplas Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Merksplas is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises only the town of Merksplas proper. On January 1, 2016, Merksplas had a total population of 8,642. The total area is 44.56 km² which gives a population density of 194 inhabitants per km².

The border's complexity results from numerous 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, while 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.

Breda City and municipality in North Brabant, Netherlands

Breda is a city and municipality in the southern part of the Netherlands, located in the province of North Brabant. The name derived from brede Aa and refers to the confluence of the rivers Mark and Aa.

Duchy of Brabant State of the Holy Roman Empire

The Duchy of Brabant was a State of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1183. It developed from the Landgraviate of Brabant and formed the heart of the historic Low Countries, part of the Burgundian Netherlands from 1430 and of the Habsburg Netherlands from 1482, until it was partitioned after the Dutch revolt.

The Treaty of Maastricht, signed in 1843 by Belgium and the Netherlands four years after the Treaty of London established Belgian independence, finally settled the border between the two countries.

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.

The border between Belgium and the Netherlands at Baarle-Nassau Baarle-Nassau - Baarle-Hertog-en.svg
The border between Belgium and the Netherlands at Baarle-Nassau

Outside of Belgium and the Netherlands, there is at least one other national counter-exclave (enclave enclosed within an enclave) at Nahwa, an enclave of the United Arab Emirates within an enclave of the Sultanate of Oman within the United Arab Emirates.

Nahwa village in United Arab Emirates

Nahwa is a territory that forms part of the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. It is a counter-enclave within the Omani territory of Madha, which is itself an exclave of Oman and an enclave within the United Arab Emirates.

United Arab Emirates Country in Western Asia

The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates, is a country in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south and west, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatar to the west and Iran to the north. The sovereign constitutional monarchy is a federation of seven emirates consisting of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. Their boundaries are complex, with numerous enclaves within the various emirates. Each emirate is governed by a ruler; together, they jointly form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the rulers serves as the President of the United Arab Emirates. In 2013, the UAE's population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates.


Ulicoten Village in North Brabant, Netherlands

Ulicoten is a village in the Dutch province of North Brabant. It is a part of the municipality of Baarle-Nassau and is situated about 16 km south of Breda.

Castelré Place in North Brabant, Netherlands

Castelré is a village in the Dutch province of North Brabant. It is a part of the municipality of Baarle-Nassau, and lies some 20 km south of Breda.

List of enclaves

Netherlands enclaves

These are all part of Baarle-Nassau Commune.

Serial no. and local name [5] Area (ha)Notes
Flag of the Netherlands.svg N1, De Loversche Akkers – De Tommelsche Akkers5.3667Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian exclave H1, in Baarle-Hertog; contains a mix of dwellings and farmland; boundary of N1 and H1 runs through one building.
Flag of the Netherlands.svg N2, De Tommelsche Akkers1.3751Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian exclave H1, in Baarle-Hertog; contains 8 dwellings.
Flag of the Netherlands.svg N3, De Tommelsche Akkers0.2863Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian exclave H1, in Baarle-Hertog; boundary of N3 and H1 bisects the loading dock of a liquor store.
Flag of the Netherlands.svg N4, De Rethsche Akkers1.2324Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian exclave H1, in Baarle-Hertog; boundary of N4 and H1 runs through a warehouse, with vacant Dutch land to the rear of the warehouse.
Flag of the Netherlands.svg N5, De Rethsche Akkers1.9212Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian exclave H1, in Baarle-Hertog; boundary of N5 and H1 runs through a furniture showroom, a shed and a barn.
Flag of the Netherlands.svg N6, Gierle Straat1.4527Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian exclave H1, in Baarle-Hertog; consists of farmland with two buildings.
Flag of the Netherlands.svg N7, De Kastelein0.5812Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian Oordeel exclave H8, in Baarle-Hertog; occupies part of a field.
Flag of the Netherlands.svg N8, Vossenberg2.8528Farmland enclave situated within Zondereigen, Belgium, less than 50 meters south of the Dutch border.

Belgian enclaves

These are all part of Baarle-Hertog Commune, and are surrounded by Baarle-Nassau Commune (Netherlands).

Serial no. and local name [5] Area (ha)Notes
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H1, Aen het Klooster Straetje - Hoofdbraek - Loveren - De Boschcovensche Akkers - De Loversche Akkers - De Tommelsche Akkers - De Tommel - De Gierle Straat - De Reth - De Rethsche Akkers - Het Dorp - De Kapel Akkers - De Kastelein153.6448Forms a quadripoint with enclave H2; largest Belgian exclave; encompasses six Dutch enclaves; consists of dwellings for the most part, with outlying farmland and an industrial area; boundary runs through numerous buildings; contains a portion of the former Turnhout-Tilburg rail line, now a cycle path.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H2, De Rethsche Akkers2.4116Consists of farmland with a single point of connection (quadripoint) between enclaves H1 and H2 in the middle of a corn field.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H3, De Rethsche Akkers0.3428Occupies part of a field; boundary runs through a shed in one instance.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H4, De Rethsche Akkers1.476Consists of farmland; boundary runs through a house and three sheds.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H5, De Kapel Akkers0.9245Consists of farmland with a dwelling.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H6, Hoofdbraek1.7461Mixed land usage; boundary runs through a warehouse/factory.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H7, De Loversche Akkers0.2469Boundary runs through two dwellings, including the middle of one front door (giving it two house numbers: Loveren 2, Baarle-Hertog / Loveren 19, Baarle-Nassau).
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H8, Boschcoven - De Kastelein - De Oordelsche Straat41.8781Second-largest Belgian exclave, contains a mix of dwellings and farmland; boundary runs through a barn, a dwelling and two businesses.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H9, De Kapel Akkers0.4005Boundary runs through a printing factory/warehouse in an industrial area.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H10, De Oordelsche Straat0.65Consists of farmland.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H11, De Oordelsche Straat0.93Consists of farmland.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H12, Boschcoven0.2822Consists of farmland.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H13, Boschcoven1.5346Boundary runs through about 20 dwellings.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H14, Boschcoven0.7193Boundary runs through about 13 dwellings.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H15, Boschcoven1.7211Boundary runs through about 16 dwellings.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H16, Keizershoek - Oordelsche Straat4.4252Boundary runs through a house and three sheds, with the linear boundary changing direction three times inside just one shed.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H17, Moleriet Heide14.9248Rural area containing a portion of the former Turnhout-Tilburg rail line, now a cycle path.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H18, De Manke Gooren2.9247Consists of farmland.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H19, De Peruiters0.6851Consists of several ponds and a field.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H20, Wurstenbosch - Vossenberg1.1681Consists of farmland.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H21, Baelbrugsche Beemden1.1845Consists of farmland.
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg H22, De Wit Hagen0.2632South of the village of Ulicoten; occupies part of a field; nationality was contested from the 1830s until 1995 (remained unallocated to either country in boundary treaty of 26 April 1974)

Notable people

Petrus Christus Flemish painter

Petrus Christus was an Early Netherlandish painter active in Bruges from 1444, where, along with Hans Memling, he became the leading painter after the death of Jan van Eyck. He was influenced by van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden and is noted for his innovations with linear perspective and a meticulous technique which seems derived from miniatures and manuscript illumination. Today, some 30 works are confidently attributed to him. The best-known include the 1446 Portrait of a Carthusian and c. 1470 Berlin Portrait of a Young Girl, both are highly innovative in presentation of the figure against detailed, rather than flat, backgrounds.

Jan van Eyck Flemish painter

Jan van Eyck was a Flemish painter active in Bruges. He is one of the early innovators of what became known as Early Netherlandish painting, and one of the most significant representatives of Early Northern Renaissance art. The surviving records of his early life indicate that he was born around 1380–1390, most likely in Maaseik, in present day Belgium. He took employment in the Hague around 1422, when he was already a master painter with workshop assistants, and employed as painter and valet de chambre with John III the Pitiless, ruler of Holland and Hainaut. He was then employed in Lille as court painter to Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy after John's death in 1425, until he moved to Bruges in 1429 where he lived until his death. He was highly regarded by Philip and undertook a number of diplomatic visits abroad, including to Lisbon in 1428 to explore the possibility of a marriage contract between the duke and Isabella of Portugal.

J.P.M.M. (Jan) Hendrikx is a former Dutch politician. He is a member of the Christian Democratic Appeal. From 1990 to 2012, he was mayor of the municipality of Baarle-Nassau. Previously he was an alderman of the municipality of Someren. Both municipalities are situated in the province of North Brabant.

Related Research Articles

Drimmelen Municipality in North Brabant, Netherlands

Drimmelen is a municipality and a town in the southern Netherlands, in the province North Brabant.

India–Bangladesh enclaves enclaves along the Bangladesh–India border

The India–Bangladesh enclaves, also known as the chitmahals and sometimes called pasha enclaves, were the enclaves along the Bangladesh–India border, in Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura, Assam and Meghalaya. Within the main body of Bangladesh were 102 enclaves of Indian territory, which in turn contained 21 Bangladeshi counter-enclaves, one of which contained an Indian counter-counter-enclave – the world's only third-order enclave. Within the Indian mainland were 71 Bangladeshi enclaves, containing 3 Indian counter-enclaves. A joint census in 2010 found 51,549 people residing in these enclaves: 37,334 in Indian enclaves within Bangladesh and 14,215 in Bangladeshi enclaves within India.

Duchy of Limburg duchy in Western Europe between 1065-1795

The Duchy of Limburg or Limbourg was a state of the Holy Roman Empire. Its main territory including the capital Limbourg is today located within the Belgian province of Liège, with a small part in the neighbouring province of Belgian Limburg, within the east of Voeren.

Heikant, Ulicoten Hamlet in North Brabant, Netherlands

Heikant is a hamlet in the Dutch province of North Brabant. It is a part of the municipality of Baarle-Nassau, and lies about 16 km south of Breda, just south of the village of Ulicoten.

An enclave is a territory, or a part of a territory, that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state. Territorial waters have the same sovereign attributes as land, and enclaves may therefore exist within territorial waters.

Brabantse Stedenrij Megalopolis in Netherlands

Brabantse Stedenrij is a polycentric city region in the province of North Brabant, Netherlands. Its population is about 2 million. The main cities are 's-Hertogenbosch, Breda, Eindhoven, Helmond and Tilburg. Other municipalities of the area are Bergen op Zoom, Oss and Roosendaal. The metropolitan region also includes other large towns such as Boxtel, Etten-Leur, Oosterhout, Uden, Veghel, Veldhoven and Waalwijk.

Vennbahn railway line in Belgium

The Vennbahn is a former railway line that was built partly across what was then German territory by the Prussian state railways. It is now entirely in Belgium, because the trackbed of the line, as well as the stations and other installations, were made provisional Belgian territory in 1919 under an article of the Treaty of Versailles.

Redemptiedorpen village

The Redemptiedorpen are a group of small villages north of Liège, Belgium. Their ownership was disputed between the United Provinces and the Duchy of Brabant since the 17th century. The areas retained independence, with the condition that they pay taxes to both powers. In practice, they were closely linked to the tweeherigheid of Maastricht.


Zondereigen is a village in the municipality of Baarle-Hertog, in the province of Antwerp, Belgium. As of 2006, it has 429 inhabitants on an area of 4.78 square kilometers.

Belgium–Netherlands border international border

The Belgium–Netherlands border separates Belgium and the Netherlands and is 450 km (280 mi) long.


  1. "Braam V.T.M." (in Dutch). Gemeente Baarle-Nassau. Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  2. "Kerncijfers wijken en buurten" [Key figures for neighbourhoods]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
  3. "Postcodetool for 5111CC". Actueel Hoogtebestand Nederland (in Dutch). Het Waterschapshuis. Retrieved 28 April 2014.
  4. "Bevolkingsontwikkeling; regio per maand" [Population growth; regions per month]. CBS Statline (in Dutch). CBS. 27 October 2017. Retrieved 27 October 2017.
  5. 1 2 Whyte, Brendan (2004). "En Territoire Belge et à Quarante Centimètres de la Frontière" An historical and documentary study of the Belgian and Dutch enclaves of Baarle-Hertog and Baarle-Nassau. The University of Melbourne, School of Anthropology, Geography and Environmental Studies. ISBN   0-7340-3032-0.