Baarle Nassau Hertog: International Border of Netherlands and Belgium, a Photostory

Belgium Netherlands Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Dutch Belgium Border Holland Belgium Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog

Imagine a small village on the international border. What will be the life of the residents of such a village? The immediate picture that comes to my mind is that of people living in constant fear, a place full of armed forces, a place where barbed wires define your area of movement.


Netherlands %20Belgium Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Dutch Belgium Border Holland Belgium Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog

Now imagine the same place with none of the above stated harsh realities. A place where people live happily, they hop in and out of their country as if it was a garden in the backyard of their home. Yes such is the life in Baarle, a small village on the border of Netherlands and Belgium.

Border Belgium Netherlands Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Dutch Belgium Border Holland Belgium Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog

The Dutch call it Baarle Nassau while Belgians call it Baarle Hertog. Here you can witness houses sharing their walls with International Border. Infact there are some houses that are partly in Netherlands and partly in Belgium.

Holland Belgium Border Belgium Netherlands Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Dutch Belgium Border Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog


When we speak of Border a straight line comes to mind, but in reality that is rarely the case in Baarle Nassau or Baarle Hertog (depending on where you are standing). There are chunks of land belonging to Belgium that are surrounded by Dutch land.

Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Belgium Netherlands Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Dutch Belgium Border Holland Belgium Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog

There is a restaurant in Baarle that is in both the countries and as per Dutch laws restaurant has to close earlier than Belgium. Hence after the closing time in Netherlands, the people eating the restaurant have to move to the Belgian side and continue. Though I am not sure if the is kitchen also built in both the countries. Sounds interesting! Doesn’t it?

Baarle Nassau Belgium Netherlands Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Dutch Belgium Border Holland Belgium Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog

Experience: To visit a border area has always been an exciting experience for me. Be it Amritsar in Punjab where India shares border with Pakistan or be in Belfast. Though Belfast is not really a border town but there are clear demarcations of English and Irish sections in the city.

Baarle Hertog Belgium Netherlands Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Dutch Belgium Border Holland Belgium Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog

Compared to Amritsar and Belfast, Baarle experience was much more enriching. As I hopped the border umpteen numbers of times I could experience what peace could offer to the people of Baarle.

Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Belgium Netherlands Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Dutch Belgium Border Holland Belgium Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog

Rather than fighting with each other they have grown together. The border is hardly a part of their lives; it correctly belongs to the footpaths where they walk daily.
If you decide to visit Baarle you will get to experience such bizarre sights of International Border.

Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Belgium Netherlands Border Dutch Belgium Border Holland Belgium Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog


How to get there:
Baarle is accessible from Netherlands only. So you will have to travel to Netherlands even if you are in Belgium. The closest train stations to Baarle are Breda or Tilsburg.

Baarle Belgium Netherlands Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Dutch Belgium Border Holland Belgium Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog

If you are travelling from Amsterdam take the Brussels bound Inter City train and get down either at Dordrecht (for Tilsburg) or Roosendaal (for Breda). If you are coming from Brussels or Antwerp take the Amsterdam bound Inter City and get down at the same stations. There are slow trains available as well and they would cost less so take your pick accordingly.

Common Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Belgium Netherlands Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Dutch Belgium Border Holland Belgium Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog

From Roosendaal to Breda and from Dordrecht to Tilsburg you can travel in a bus or in the train. Remember that Trains will be much quicker. From Breda you can take the Bus number 132 which goes to Tilsburg. The frequency is bit low (once every hour) so plan your trip accordingly. If you are starting from Tilsburg then you can take the Breda bound 132 bus. It is a picturous journey of around 40 minutes, so enjoy the ride.

Baarle Nassau Hertog Belgium Netherlands Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Dutch Belgium Border Holland Belgium Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog

How much will it cost:
It is a day trip so there is no stay of hotel stay. The only expenses will be for travel and food.

Borders Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Belgium Netherlands Border Baarle Nassau Baarle Hertog Dutch Belgium Border Holland Belgium Border, Tarun Chandel Photoblog

Travel Expenses:
From Amsterdam:
To Roosendaal (Train) – 20 Euros X 2
To Breda (Train) – 10 Euros X 2
To Baarle (Bus) – 3 Euros X 2
From Antwerp:
To Roosendaal (Train) – 10 Euros X 2
To Breda (Train) – 10 Euros X 2
To Baarle (Bus) – 3 Euros X 2
*You can check for slow trains, they might cost bit less.

Tarun Chandel

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3 comments:

anoop said...

fantastic. will keep this place in mind if I ever get to visit europe in the future

Tarun Chandel said...

two thumbs up for your trip

Kapil said...

Baarle Nassau sounds like an interesting place. I would like to visit such a place. Is Baarle Nassau related to Barley in our beers?

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