There are borders that separate two countries, administrative divisions, or other areas into well-defined territories but, have you ever heard of a town that lies between two countries?  

Baarle, a small town located on the Dutch-Belgian border looks like any other small settlement but, it is actually one of the most complicated border town in the world.

If you ever set foot in Baarle as a visitor, you’ll notice many streets around the village featuring lines marked with crosses that are labelled with letter B and NL. 

These markings are actually border lines that determine where one country ends and the other begins. The lines and markings have been put there to remind everyone who passes over them that they have entered into another sovereign state. 

But get this, these lines and markings run straight into buildings and across roads, splitting public and private property right through the middle. 

Unlike other towns, this town actually consists of two separate municipalities called Baarle-Nassau and Baarle-Hertog, which are administered by the Netherlands and Belgium, respectively.

Since its Belgian sections lie roughly five kilometres away from Belgium-proper, they are collectively known as an enclave.

Though, to make matters more complicated, there are several stretches of Belgian land in Baarle plots that are claimed by the Netherlands, creating enclaves within enclaves. 

It’s literally like the movie Inception but, here instead of a dream inside a dream, there are enclaves formed within other enclaves. 

Now, you maybe wondering who came up with this bizarre concept? Well, during the Middle Ages, local wealthy aristocrats thought of this idea. 

Apparently, one duke from what is known as Belgium today, handed over territory to another noble who controlled the lands around the Dutch city of Breda. 

But, the duke retained smaller plots in Baarle that led to border disputes in the 19th century when Belgium and the Netherlands split into two different nation states. 

The border disputes went on for another century and finally they reached an agreement. So, the current patch-work like cartography you see today in the town of Baarle is a result of that agreement.  

People on the internet, who had no clue about this town, were quite fascinated with this piece of information. 

This unique town that essentially exists between two countries at once, is also governed by two different legal systems but, over the years the local residents have accepted their hometown’s incredibly complicated borders.

Watch this video for more information.