Baarle-Hertog (Dutch pronunciation: [ˌbaːrlə ˈɦɛrtɔx]), 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.

Former town hall


Coat of arms
Location in Belgium
Location of Baarle-Hertog in the province of Antwerp
Coordinates: 51°27′N 04°56′E
CommunityFlemish Community
RegionFlemish Region
  MayorLeo van Tilburg (CDK)
  Governing party/iesCDK
  Total7.48 km2 (2.89 sq mi)
  Density360/km2 (940/sq mi)
Postal codes
Area codes014
WebsiteOfficial website

While some of its territory consists of exclaves in the Dutch province of North Brabant, it is part of the Belgian province of Antwerp. On 1 January 2006 Baarle-Hertog had a population of 2,306. The total area is 7.48 square kilometres (2.89 square miles) which gives a population density of 308 inhabitants per km² (798 inhabitants/sq mi).


Border with Baarle-Nassau

Baarle-Hertog is noted for its complicated borders with Baarle-Nassau, Netherlands.[2] The complex border was created after the Treaty of Maastricht was signed between the Netherlands and Belgium in 1843. In total it consists of 24 separate parcels of land, none of which is actually contiguous with the bulk of the territory of Belgium (to which it belongs). The main division of Baarle-Hertog is Zondereigen (named after its main hamlet), located north of the Belgian town of Merksplas. In addition there are twenty Belgian exclaves in the Netherlands and three other sections on the Dutch-Belgian border. There are also seven Dutch exclaves within the Belgian exclaves (i.e., counter-exclaves). Six of these Dutch enclaves are located within the largest Belgian enclave, and a seventh in the second-largest Belgian enclave. An eighth Dutch exclave is located nearby Ginhoven.

During the First World War, this situation meant that the German Imperial Army could not occupy these parts of Belgium without crossing the Netherlands, which the Dutch government did not allow. Thus, these pieces of Belgium became a place where refugees could safely stay.[3] A clandestine radio transmitter was smuggled in and from there worked with the Belgian resistance. The Dutch government fenced off these areas and controlled access in or out of them, building a church and school for the Belgian people who were effectively stranded within the enclaves.[4] This situation did not exist in the Second World War, as both countries were occupied by Nazi Germany.

Some houses in the town of Baarle-Hertog/Baarle-Nassau are divided between the two countries. At one time, according to Dutch laws restaurants had to close earlier. For some restaurants on the border, this simply meant that the customers had to move to a table on the Belgian side.[5] 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 and other parts devolved to Breda. These distributions were ratified and clarified as a part of the border settlements agreed under the Treaty of Maastricht in 1843. The tight integration of the European Union and in particular the Schengen Treaty have made many of the practicalities of the situation substantially simpler since the 1990s.

Many fireworks shops are found in Baarle-Hertog, owing to Belgian laws controlling the sale of fireworks that are more lenient than those in the Netherlands. Close to the end of the year many Dutch tourists come to Baarle-Hertog to buy fireworks to celebrate the New Year.

Two villages in the municipality, Zondereigen and Ginhoven, are located in the main territory of Belgium.

List of enclaves

Netherlands enclaves

These are all part of Baarle-Nassau Commune.

Serial no. and local name[6] Area (ha) Notes
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.
N2, De Tommelsche Akkers1.3751Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian exclave H1, in Baarle-Hertog; contains 8 dwellings.
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.
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.
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.
N6, Gierle Straat1.4527Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian exclave H1, in Baarle-Hertog; consists of farmland with two buildings.
N7, De Kastelein0.5812Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian Oordeel exclave H8, in Baarle-Hertog; occupies part of a field.
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[6] Area (ha) Notes
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.
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.
H3, De Rethsche Akkers0.3428Occupies part of a field; boundary runs through a shed in one instance.
H4, De Rethsche Akkers1.476Consists of farmland; boundary runs through a house and three sheds.
H5, De Kapel Akkers0.9245Consists of farmland with a dwelling.
H6, Hoofdbraek1.7461Mixed land usage; boundary runs through a warehouse/factory.
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).
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.
H9, De Kapel Akkers0.4005Boundary runs through a printing factory/warehouse in an industrial area.
H10, De Oordelsche Straat0.65Consists of farmland.
H11, De Oordelsche Straat0.93Consists of farmland.
H12, Boschcoven0.2822Consists of farmland.
H13, Boschcoven1.5346Boundary runs through about 20 dwellings.
H14, Boschcoven0.7193Boundary runs through about 13 dwellings.
H15, Boschcoven1.7211Boundary runs through about 16 dwellings.
H16, Keizershoek - Oordelsche Straat4.4252Boundary runs through a house and three sheds, with three turning points inside just one shed.
H17, Moleriet Heide14.9248Rural area containing a portion of the former Turnhout-Tilburg rail line, now a cycle path.
H18, De Manke Gooren2.9247Consists of farmland.
H19, De Peruiters0.6851Consists of several ponds and a field.
H20, Wurstenbosch - Vossenberg1.1681Consists of farmland.
H21, Baelbrugsche Beemden1.1845Consists of farmland.
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)


Baarle-Hertog has two schools: De Vlinder and De Horizon.[7]

It has a joint library with Baarle-Nassau with Belgian and Dutch staff.[8]

Famous inhabitants

See also


  1. "Wettelijke Bevolking per gemeente op 1 januari 2018". Statbel. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  2. (in Spanish) Map, pictures and infos on "Fronterasblog"
  3. An Apology of Enclaves
  4. Enclavegeschiedenis van Baarle (Dutch)
  5. "The Curious Case of Baarle-Nassau and Baarle-Hertog". 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  6. 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.
  7. "scholen." Baarle-Hertog. Retrieved on January 6, 2017.
  8. "bibliotheek." Baarle-Hertog. Retrieved on January 6, 2017.
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