life through the lens
The 7.62km² German enclave of Busingen am Hochrhein is a short walk from the Swiss city of Schaffhausen, hugging the picturesque banks of the Rhine. It's entirely surrounded by Switzerland, giving rise to plenty of paradoxes. I've also included tiny Verenahof at the bottom of the page, a former German enclave now belonging to Switzerland - April 2014.
- Busingen has a Swiss and German postal code; stamps from either country can be used
Historical background: Busingen was under Austrian control from the 15th century. In 1805, during the Napoleonic Wars, it became part of the German kingdom of Wurttemberg. After World War I 96% chose to become part of Switzerland but this never came to fruition as the Swiss couldn't offer an equivalent in return. West Germany and Switzerland formally defined the Busingen enclave in 1967.
Busingen is part of Germany which uses the Euro. But in the pre-Euro days the German Deutschmark wasn't even accepted in Busingen until a law was passed in the 1980s
Most Busingen residents work in Switzerland so the Swiss Franc is king.
Indeed when I paid for souvenirs in the Town Hall they only accepted Swiss Francs!
Goodbye to Schaffhausen and Switzerland - Büsingen am Hochrhein
And hello to the German enclave of Büsingen am Hochrhein
A calm and scenic Rhine in Büsingen am Hochrhein, with Switzerland on the opposite bank
The German, Busingen and Swiss flags welcome visitors to the enclave. Further on you can also see the German eagle, the Bundesschild coat of arms - Büsingen am Hochrhein
A replica border marker stands above a genuine stone one. CS stands for Cantonment Schaffhausen, in other words Switzerland; 1839 was the year of the border treaty. On the stone's other side there's a GB or a D, for Germany (see later photos) - Büsingen am Hochrhein
A great way to recycle - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Take an immediate left on entering Büsingen am Hochrhein and there's more border markers, this time in the road.
Going inland and up the hill you'll see that most of Büsingen am Hochrhein is taken up by farmland
The rolling countryside of Büsingen am Hochrhein
GB stands for Grossherzogtum Baden, or the historical Grand Duchy of Baden, meaning I'm on the German side of the border. The far side is Switzerland - Büsingen am Hochrhein
The centre of Büsingen am Hochrhein can be seen in the distance at a bend in the river
The Rhine is so calm it's almost a mirror - Büsingen am Hochrhein
The best known hotel is the Alte Rheinmuehle - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Anyone can dine at their restaurant that overlooks the Rhine - Büsingen am Hochrhein
The 17th century Alte Rheinmuehle was formerly a mill - Büsingen am Hochrhein
There's plenty of birdlife on the Rhine - Büsingen am Hochrhein
A pier near the Strandbad lido (open air pool) - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Next to the Rathaus (Town Hall) are two phone boxes: avoid international charges by using Swisscom on the left for Switzerland, Deutsche Telekom on the right for Germany - Büsingen am Hochrhein
The post office is run by Germany's Deutsche Post but notice the two postcodes above the entrance: D-78266 is the German postal code while CH-8238 is the Swiss code for exactly the same territory - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Peace and harmony. A painting on the outside wall of the Rathaus - Büsingen am Hochrhein
The 16th century Junkerhaus (House of the Noble). The Alte Schmeide gallery is next door but it wasn't open on the two days I was around - Büsingen am Hochrhein
The grounds of the half-timbered Das Junkerhaus open on to the Rhine. As far as I know the building isn't open to the public - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Birdhouses for sale - Büsingen am Hochrhein
The International Church of the Nazarene sounds quite grandiose for such a small place - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Most riverfront residences have gardens on the Rhine separated from the property by Schaffhauser Strasse, the enclave's main road - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Away from the river there's an eccentric children's wildlife/play area complete with train carriages - Büsingen am Hochrhein
St Michael's Church has a great setting on the road linking Busingen to the Swiss town of Doerflingen - Büsingen am Hochrhein
The German-Swiss border posts are a short walk from St Michael's Church (pictured here in the distance) - Büsingen am Hochrhein
On the left is the German sign indicating you're in the German enclave; on the right is the Swiss sign (Schaffhausen Canton) on the way to Doerflingen - Büsingen am Hochrhein
At the base of the signs are the original stone border posts. S for Switzerland and D for Deutschland (Germany) - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Restaurant Waldheim is on the eastern tip of the enclave - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Waldheim's garden has a perfect setting over the Rhine - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Waldheim is right on the Swiss-German border. To the left of the white line is the German enclave of Busingen, to the right is Switzerland. So you can order food in Germany, dine in Switzerland, return to Germany for the toilet, back outside to admire the views of Switzerland, then back inside to Germany to pay in Swiss Francs! Büsingen am Hochrhein
The view from the restaurant. The farm below is in Switzerland but a two minute walk along the trail and you're back in Germany proper, in the town of Gailingen. The opposite side of the Rhine is Switzerland - Büsingen am Hochrhein
On the slope leading down from Waldheim is a small vineyard - Büsingen am Hochrhein
You can buy Busingen wines, though the fermenting and bottling are done elsewhere. At least that's what I think the locals were telling me! Büsingen am Hochrhein
A border stone below Waldheim indicates I'm in the German enclave.
This is the walking trail near Restaurant Waldheim, with the Deutschland sign welcoming visitors to Gailingen and Germany. The CS border stone indicates I'm still in Switzerland while the GB shows I've crossed into Germany - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Never seen this before - happy cows, happy milk! The cows were loving this automated massager at the farm below Restaurant Waldheim, a few metres outside Büsingen am Hochrhein.
Swiss customs at the Gailingen border is a pretty quiet place nowadays - Büsingen am Hochrhein
There's a riverside walking trail from Restaurant Waldheim back to the centre - Büsingen am Hochrhein
There's a second border monument on Junkerstrasse - Büsingen am Hochrhein
It also has the Swiss, Busingen and German flags flying - Büsingen am Hochrhein
The Dorfkirche on Junkerstrasse - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Bright colours along the walking trail near Strandbad - Büsingen am Hochrhein
A weather vane in German colours - Büsingen am Hochrhein
An eclectic mix of sculptures at Galerie Roman Reyes - Büsingen am Hochrhein
World marketing: Vogue in the farmlands - Büsingen am Hochrhein
Who is Titus? Büsingen am Hochrhein
Ring the bell to Paradise - Büsingen am Hochrhein
A boat from Busingen takes passengers to Paradies (German spelling), a town on the opposite side of the river in Switzerland. And of course there's a 'Welcome to Paradise' sign! Büsingen am Hochrhein
The view from Paradise is of the Rhine and Büsingen am Hochrhein
Büsingen am Hochrhein enclave, about 300 metres from the Swiss/Schaffhausen border
Auf Wiedersehen (goodbye) Büsingen am Hochrhein. And Gute Fahrt means Good Journey. Amuses me! How to fahrt in German
Verenahof, in the Swiss village of Buttenhardt, is a short bus ride from Schaffhausen.
This pink building is built on a former school whose playground, as far as I can tell (talking to a resident), also formed part of the Verenahof enclave
Thanks to Vitali Vitaliev's book Passsport to Enclavia for bringing Verenahof to my attention. In his book he mentions that the school building was in Switzerland but the playground was in German Verenahof. Aaah, politics! It's about 200metres from the Verenahof road pictured earlier so I'm confused as to whether there were two sections to the enclave
Next to the former school are some of the border stones, recycled as flowerbeds. S stands for Switzerland. I haven't worked out what LG stands for - suggestions welcome! Verenahof was an enclave for centuries so I presume 1935 refers to the official agreement/border marking
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www.buesingen.de - Busingen info and quirks
http://en.wikipedia.org - Wikipedia entry
www.exclave.eu - enclaves/exclaves of Europe, and more quirks explained
http://geosite.jankrogh.com - lots on the Busingen border stones and other enclaves
www.myswitzerland.com - Swiss tourist office
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