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
Former town hall
Flag of Baarle-Hertog
Coat of arms of Baarle-Hertog
Coat of arms
Baarle-Hertog is located in Belgium
Location in Belgium
Location of Baarle-Hertog in the province of Antwerp
Coordinates: 51°27′N 04°56′E / 51.450°N 4.933°E / 51.450; 4.933Coordinates: 51°27′N 04°56′E / 51.450°N 4.933°E / 51.450; 4.933
CommunityFlemish Community
RegionFlemish Region
 • MayorLeo van Tilburg (CDK)
 • Governing party/iesCDK
 • Total7.48 km2 (2.89 sq mi)
 • Total2,705
 • 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-NassauEdit

Map showing the enclaves of Baarle-Hertog

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][circular reference] 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 enclavesEdit

Netherlands enclavesEdit

These are all part of Baarle-Nassau Commune.

Serial no. and local name[6] Area (ha) Notes
  N1, De Loversche Akkers – De Tommelsche Akkers 5.3667 Counter-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 Akkers 1.3751 Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian exclave H1, in Baarle-Hertog; contains 8 dwellings.
  N3, De Tommelsche Akkers 0.2863 Counter-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 Akkers 1.2324 Counter-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 Akkers 1.9212 Counter-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 Straat 1.4527 Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian exclave H1, in Baarle-Hertog; consists of farmland with two buildings.
  N7, De Kastelein 0.5812 Counter-enclave surrounded by Belgian Oordeel exclave H8, in Baarle-Hertog; occupies part of a field.
  N8, Vossenberg 2.8528 Farmland enclave situated within Zondereigen, Belgium, less than 50 meters south of the Dutch border.

Belgian enclavesEdit

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 Kastelein 153.6448 Forms 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 Akkers 2.4116 Consists of farmland with a single point of connection (quadripoint) between enclaves H1 and H2 in the middle of a corn field.
  H3, De Rethsche Akkers 0.3428 Occupies part of a field; boundary runs through a shed in one instance.
  H4, De Rethsche Akkers 1.476 Consists of farmland; boundary runs through a house and three sheds.
  H5, De Kapel Akkers 0.9245 Consists of farmland with a dwelling.
  H6, Hoofdbraek 1.7461 Mixed land usage; boundary runs through a warehouse/factory.
  H7, De Loversche Akkers 0.2469 Boundary 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 Straat 41.8781 Second-largest Belgian exclave, contains a mix of dwellings and farmland; boundary runs through a barn, a dwelling and two businesses.
  H9, De Kapel Akkers 0.4005 Boundary runs through a printing factory/warehouse in an industrial area.
  H10, De Oordelsche Straat 0.65 Consists of farmland.
  H11, De Oordelsche Straat 0.93 Consists of farmland.
  H12, Boschcoven 0.2822 Consists of farmland.
  H13, Boschcoven 1.5346 Boundary runs through about 20 dwellings.
  H14, Boschcoven 0.7193 Boundary runs through about 13 dwellings.
  H15, Boschcoven 1.7211 Boundary runs through about 16 dwellings.
  H16, Keizershoek - Oordelsche Straat 4.4252 Boundary runs through a house and three sheds, with three turning points[clarification needed] inside just one shed.
  H17, Moleriet Heide 14.9248 Rural area containing a portion of the former Turnhout-Tilburg rail line, now a cycle path.
  H18, De Manke Gooren 2.9247 Consists of farmland.
  H19, De Peruiters 0.6851 Consists of several ponds and a field.
  H20, Wurstenbosch - Vossenberg 1.1681 Consists of farmland.
  H21, Baelbrugsche Beemden 1.1845 Consists of farmland.
  H22, De Wit Hagen 0.2632 South 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 inhabitantsEdit

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ a b 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.

External linksEdit