Global Sourcebook for International Data Management

                                         by Graham Rhind

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Enclaves, exclaves, borders and addressing

Global Sourcebook | Index | Properties

An enclave is a piece of land which is totally surrounded by a foreign territory, and an exclave is one which is politically attached to a larger piece but not actually contiguous with it. There are many enclaves and exclaves in the world, caused by geographic, political and historical anomalies. In many cases their inhabitants, when there are any, share the same addressing forms and formats as the non-contiguous relation, but in a small number of cases its geography affects its addressing. Here is a summary of these cases. Some are covered in more detail in the relevant country chapter(s).

Where buildings straddle international borders, they may legitimately have more than one street address. The Hotel Arbez Franco-Suisse, for example, straddles the French-Swiss border which runs through the village of La Cure, and it has two addresses:

   601 rue de la Frontière  
   39220 LES ROUSSES 


   61 route de France  
   1265 LA CURE 

Hotel Arbez

These may even be in two languages, as with the Haskell Free Library and Opera House/Bibliothèque et Salle d’Opéra Haskell, which straddles the Canada/USA border and has the addresses:

   93 Caswell Avenue 
   DERBY LINE VT  05830 


   1 rue Church  


For lots of interesting examples of idiosyncratic borders, check out: External

Armenia/Azerbaijan — In Armenia, there are three Azerbaijani exclaves. Barxudarlı and Yuxarı Əskipara are in north-eastern Armenia; Karki (renamed by Armenia to Tigranashen) is located north of the region of Nakhchivan. All of these enclaves are controlled by Armenia, inhabited mostly by Armenians, and use Armenian addressing.

There is an Armenian exclave, Artsvashen (Başkənd in Azeri) in north-western Azerbaijan. It is controlled by Azerbaijan, inhabited mostly by Azeris, and uses Azeri addressing.

image Barxudarlı and Yuxarı Əskipara

image Karki

image Artsvashen (Source: Wikipedia)


The pene-exclave of Austria containing the village of Jungholz is accessible by road only through Germany and has the German postal code 87491 as well as the Austrian postal code 6691.

Jungholz, Austria

Belgium/Netherlands — The town of Baarle the southern Netherlands is made up of the municipality of Baarle-Hertog, a group of 22 Belgian enclaves within the Netherlands; and of the Dutch municipality of Baarle-Nassau, which itself has one enclave in the main body of Belgium and 7 counter-enclaves inside two of the Belgian enclaves. Though streets usually have the same name in both countries, buildings are numbered, and the address system used, according to the country they are in (the position of the front door deciding this).

image Source: Wikipedia


image The border is shown here on the pavement with the hatching heading for the door of this residence.

image The border between Belgium and The Netherlands runs through the front door of this house in Baerle-Hertog/Baerle Nassau. It has two numbers.

Germany — Büsingen, Germany is an exclave in the canton of Schaffhausen, Switzerland. It uses the German addressing structure and has a German postal code (78266), but because access to it is easier through Switzerland, it also has a Swiss postal code: 8238.


Italy— The town of Campione is an enclave in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland. It uses the Italian addressing structure and has an Italian postal code (22060), but because access to it is easier through Switzerland, it also has a Swiss postal code: 6911.


Every effort is made to keep this resource updated. If you find any errors, or have any questions or requests, please don't hesitate to contact the author.

All information copyright Graham Rhind 2022. Any information used should be acknowledged and referenced.