Thursday, July 21, 2005

Switzerland's Borders

In the first few months I was in Switzerland, I learned of a few unusual quirks or Twisted borders.

Switzerland does have a bit of a complicated frontier.

The village of Büsingen, near the northern town of Schaffhausen, is part of Germany. Interestingly all Road signs, telephone boxes, are of German markings and colours. What makes it so unique is that Büsingen is totally surrounded by Swiss territory. In fact, to get there from the rest of Germany, you have to cross into Switzerland. It's a great place to visit on a bike tour.

A similiar occurance happens in the town of Campione, near Lugano, which belongs to Italy, but is surrounded by Swiss territory. There are a few interesting landmarks and definitely an expensive area to live in!

A reverse case is the eastern Swiss village of Samnaun, which is outside the Swiss customs zone. To reach it, you have to leave Switzerland because the only access road to Samnaun came from the Austrian side of the Inn valley quite some time ago.

Although all 3 towns are totally in different areas of Switzerland, they are definitely unique attractions.

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