Discover The World’s Weirdest Border! Yes, It’s In Germany😏

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Let’s talk about borders. Did you know there are some super weird borders out there? And the weirdest may be in Germany.

Located in the Eifel Hills, to the southwest of Cologne near the regular Belgian border is the weirdest border in the world. There’s what look likes a long string through Germany that is actually Belgium.

Is this border for real? Why is it like this? What’s the point of it?!

In this article, we’re talking all about this strange border and why it’s there.

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Worlds weirdest borderPin

Before we talk about why this border exists and what it is, you can see it on a map here:

Vennbahn border in GermanyPin
Vennbahn border in Germany. Click the map to open this in Google maps.

There is the regular border between “Deutschland” and “Belgie” which you can see marked, then the double-lined snake-like border a little inland from that. I point it out with a red line above.

This is called the Vennbahn. You can see it up close here:

Vennbahn border in GermanyPin
The Vennbahn up close – click this map to open it in Google maps

In the image above, there is the regular border in the left of the map and then the snake-like Vennbahn closer to the middle of the image. This is pictured near Monschau which is where I visited this border.

When I first saw it on a map, I was like, cool! When I’m in Monschau, I can walk into a Belgium town. Then I realized it turns into Germany again straight away so I was confused… So I looked it up and found out about the Vennbahn.

The Vennbahn is a fascinating example of the complex patchwork of European borders, a peculiarity nestled in the heart of Europe where Germany and Belgium meet. Its story begins in the late 19th century, with the establishment of a railway line that would inadvertently become a geopolitical curiosity and a testament to the often arbitrary nature of national boundaries.

Originally constructed between 1882 and 1889, the Vennbahn railway was designed to connect the industrial areas of Aachen, in Germany, with the steel mills of Luxembourg, traversing the rugged terrain of the Ardennes. Over the years, this 128-kilometer track served not just as a crucial conduit for resources and trade but also became a strategic military asset during both World Wars.

However, it is the border anomalies created by this railway that have sparked interest among geographers, historians, and the curious alike.


Following the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the routes of the Vennbahn were awarded to Belgium as part of the reparations imposed on Germany after World War I. This decision led to the creation of several German exclaves, as the Belgian territory now bisected through parts of what was then Germany.

The resulting border is a series of complex enclaves and exclaves, where sovereign territory is intricately weaved in a fabric that challenges conventional notions of geography and national identity.

Despite the railway largely falling into disuse and the tracks in some sections being dismantled, the Vennbahn border remains, preserved in the bureaucratic and legal frameworks of the nations it separates.

Today, this area is a symbol of European unity and cooperation. The surrounding regions have turned the remnants of the Vennbahn into cycle paths and walking trails, promoting tourism and cross-border cultural exchange. Moreover, the unique geography of the Vennbahn serves as a classroom for understanding the complexities of European history and the evolution of its borders.

In sum, the Vennbahn is more than just an old railway; it’s a geographical anomaly that tells a story of conflict, cooperation, and the complexities of national identity. It stands as a reminder of how history, politics, and geography can intertwine to create landscapes that defy expectations,

In the video below, you can find out more about this weird border and see it up close for yourself.

What do you think? Is this the weirdest border in the world?

Learn more about the nearby town of Monschau here and city of Aachen here. You can easily visit this border from both these places. You can also read about Cologne here and find all our guides to Western Germany here

Sharon Gourlay in the Rhina Valley

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon first fell in love with Germany back in 2000 on her first visit. She loves the long history, the picturesque Old Towns, the castles, the food, everything really! Since then, she has visited many times and loves writing about Germany here so you can enjoy it too. In fact, Sharon loves German culture so much that she sent her kids to a German primary school in Australia. She especially loves Berlin and towns with charming Old Towns like Celle and Quedlinburg. Sharon also has a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and understands the nitty gritty of travel planning. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to Germany whether it's your first or tenth time!

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