10 Secret Borders You Didn’t Know About
Borders define where one country ends and another starts. In the world we live in today, however, that’s not always the case. There are a number of countries that secretly reside inside another country.
Bright Side decided to map these places for you. They are truly for people who love to travel the untraveled.
10. San Marino
The Republic of San Marino is a mountainous country surrounded by Italy. It is the 5th smallest country in the world and the 3rd smallest in Europe. The country has a rich history and is considered to be one of the oldest republics in the world. San Marino’s hilly landscape and classic old European streets and buildings create a magnificent atmosphere.
There is a small country called Lesotho residing inside a much bigger country — South Africa. Lesotho has a population of 2 million and is a member of the United Nations. It is one of the 3 countries in Africa that is ruled by a king (the others are Morocco and Swaziland). Two-thirds of the country is covered by mountains, which range from 2,200 to 3,000 meters.
8. Kaliningrad Oblast
There is a small region sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania right on the Baltic Sea. Logically, it must be European, probably a Baltic State. Well, logic can be deceptive. Kaliningrad belongs to Russia. It was chopped off when the Soviet Union collapsed. For a large part of its history, Kaliningrad was predominantly German.
The unusual location and surreal mix of German-era buildings and Soviet architecture make Kaliningrad a place to visit.
There is a tiny piece of land at the end of Spain that isn’t Spain. Gibraltar belongs to the United Kingdom, even though it has amazing weather all year long. The territory of the town is so tiny that the road into Gibraltar is closed every time an airplane lands at the airport. Why? Because the road is the runway!
If you are looking for a place to get married, check out Gibraltar! Anyone can get married here with only a day’s notice, and it will be accepted worldwide. John and Yoko, as well as Sean Connery (twice!), used Gibraltar as their marriage getaway.
6. Melilla and Ceuta
Melilla and Ceuta are 2 Spanish cities that share a border with Morocco and are located on the north coast of Africa. Both cities used to be military and trade points connecting Europe to Africa. The residents now enjoy tax-free shopping and a limited degree of self-government.
You’ll be fascinated by the rich mix of cultures, languages, religions, and races. It’s the only official European presence left in Africa.
5. Campione d’Italia
This small Italian town enjoys a comfortable life in Switzerland. You can use euros or Swiss francs and send your mail using either an Italian postal code or a Swiss one. Need the police? Call Italy. Need a firefighter or an ambulance? Ask the Swiss.
Enjoy tax-free shopping, and, if you like to gamble, you’ll love Campione d’Italia as gambling laws here are less strict than in either Italy or Switzerland.
4. Point Roberts, Washington
Point Roberts, a tiny peninsula, is a small bit of the United States that can be reached only through Canada. How did it happen? You won’t believe it, but it was truly an accident. When the US-Canada border treaty was signed in 1846, no one noticed that the line chopped a peninsula right in half.
3. Baarle-Hertog and Baarle-Nassau
2 municipalities divide Baarle between Belgium and the Netherlands. The fun part starts when you look for the border. Where is Belgium? Where is the Netherlands? Well, there are 26 separate bits of Belgium and the Netherlands all over the city.
Buildings are simply cut in half, and you can find a bit of Belgium right in the middle of a Dutch district and vice versa. Taxes in both countries are different, so you can easily shop between 2 tax regimes on one street.
To explain this interesting case is not an easy task. First, imagine a set of Russian matryoshka dolls. The smallest doll, Nahwa, is a village located on the territory of the United Arab Emirates. Place this small doll inside a bigger doll — a small Oman enclave (Madha). Finally place it inside a bigger doll, the United Arab Emirates.
What a truly complex and fun world we live in!
1. Dahala Khagrabari
This was the strangest case in the world up until 2015. Even though it was resolved, we still want to share this amusing information with you. Dahala Khagrabari was a small piece of India, inside a piece of Bangladesh...inside a piece of India. Inside a piece of Bangladesh.
Overall, Bangladesh had 106 pieces of India inside the country, and India had 92 pieces of Bangladesh. In 2015, both countries signed a treaty to exchange enclaves which ended a centuries-old territorial anomaly.
Preview photo credit Depositphotos