life through the lens
home destinations a-z the big trips about me world beers newspapers updates/links freestyle top fives



VENNBAHN - Germany in Belgium plus Monschau ENCLAVES

Location - Western Europe; Capital - Berlin; Population - Germany - 11 million; Currency - Euro MORE ENCLAVES

The second stop on my enclave tour was at the five enclaves that make up the Vennbahn, a set of German territories near Aachen, set aside from the motherland by the width of a Belgian railtrack. The former Vennbahn railway, sovereign Belgian terrritory cutting through sections of Germany, is now a cycle path. So I see these enclaves as theoretical, more a consequence of the definition of who owns a railtrack bed - April 2014.

Running north to south, the enclaves are: Munsterbildchen, Rotgener Wald, Ruckschlag, Mutzenich and Ruitzhof.


euroGermany and Belgium both use the Euro











germany532I used Aachen as a base to visit the Vennbahn. My Aachen photos


vennebahn4I took a bus from Aachen via Eupen to one of the Vennbahn enclaves, Mutzenich. It's a very rural area with not much to see! Mutzenich, Vennbahn













vennebahn7Vennbahn was a Belgian railway cutting through small sections of Germany, south of Aachen.
As the trackbed was defined as Belgian territory it created five German enclaves.
The railway closed in 2001 and a cycle path has since been built (pictured) but the territory remains Belgian - Mutzenich, Vennbahn












germany305I walked from Mutzenich to the nearest town to look for onward transport. Little did I know that Monschau is a picturesque tourist destination


germany309The timbered buildings of the old town - Monschau


germany311The town isn't an enclave, it's entirely in Germany. But it's a useful link between the Vennbahn enclaves and definitely worth a diversion - Monschau













germany313Restaurants vie for space in the old town centre - Monschau














germany314Is that Santa? I guess he's at a loose end in April - Monschau


germany317There's plenty of day trippers to Monschau and several hotels


germany318 Quaint buildings in the old town - Monschau
















I managed to get a bus to Ruckschlag, the tiniest of enclaves. It's a single private property in Germany at 33 Auf Aderich, surrounded entirely by Belgium - bizarre! On the right is what I presume is a border stone indicating where B for Belgium begins - Ruckschlag, Vennbahn


vennebahn26Another bus ride towards Roetgen and another enclave, this one being Rotgener Wald, Vennbahn.
The Vennbahn cycle track in Belgium, pictured, splits Germany. On the far side of the track is the enclave; the near side is part of Germany 'proper'













vennebahn13As with the other Vennbahn enclaves there's not much to see - Rotgener Wald, Vennbahn














vennebahn20Eat Belgian frites at Nickis Imbiss in the Belgium 'mainland' opposite the German enclave of Rotgener Wald, Vennbahn


vennebahn17Two enclaves converge at Roetgen's tourist info centre. The Vennbahn track runs across this picture: on the far side is Belgium proper; where I'm standing is Germany proper; a few metres to the left and right, out of picture, are the German enclaves of Rotgener Wald and Munsterbildchen , Vennbahn. In the bottom right is a border stone



A close up of border stone 885 with 'D' for Deutschland (Germany, left) and B for Belgium (right) - Rotgener Wald and Munsterbildchen, Vennbahn


vennebahn18Vennbahn is a busy cycle track and the area is popular with hikers and walkers - Rotgener Wald and Munsterbildchen, Vennbahn














vennebahn22On the right is the Belgian Vennbahn dividing Germany proper from the enclave on the left - Munsterbildchen, Vennbahn


vennebahn23I guess the building on the right with a Roetgen sign is a former Vennbahn train station - Munsterbildchen, Vennbahn



Website and content Copyright © 2008-2019 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.


LINKS - Wikipedia guide to the Vennbahn - info on enclaves (often runs out of bandwidth) - maps of the Vennbahn enclaves - Monschau tourist info


I am not responsible for the content of external websites.