Oddities and Extremities

What constitutes an oddity is primarily subjective and I could easily include things that others would disagree with. For me it’s the curious, the strange and the interesting. Examples that spring to mind initially would include:

Natural Borders

  1. A massive natural border. The North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet in Thingvellir, Iceland where they’re visible to visitors walking through the National Park. The western side of the Eurasian and eastern side of the North American tectonic plates form the northernmost part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge which Iceland is located on. In a sense, it can be said that Iceland is a kind of bridge between continents due to this unique location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. This results in volcanic and geothermal activity.

2) Other natural borders are rivers.

Danube – Morava River Border (note the difference in water colour).

Divided Towns & Villages

Political borders often create unintended consequences. Borders are often artificial unlike the above example. Although likely to be untrue (in terms of it’s true origin) the “Stalin’s Pipe” appendage has a small part of Lithuania jutting in neighbouring Belarus. This initially had little consequence when both countries were part of the Soviet Union. With it’s collapse however, this border became the external border of both the EU and Nato and led to barriers and razor wire often going through small villages such as Sakalinė dividing neighbours and relatives.

There are other examples of divided towns and cities and I include some below. Clink on the photos for more details.

Belorussian villager on the other side of the fence.
External EU Border BY/LT
Nicosia, Cyprus – divided by the Green Line
Mouscron (BE) -Tourcoing (FR)
Baarle-Hertog – a border puzzle
Belarus house, part of the same village prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
External EU Border BY/LT
Norviliškės – a divided village
Velke-Slemence-a divided village

Geographical Extremities

For the most part the points of the compass are the most common extremes point I will record. However the highest point might also feature.

The Zugspitze, at 2,962 m above sea level is the highest mountain in Germany. It lies south of the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and the Austria–Germany border runs over its western summit.
The Vaalserberg, the highest point in the Netherlands at 322.4m!
The northernmost point in France and westernmost point of Belgium.
The southernmost point of mainland Denmark

Extremities are much more easy to define, and border enthusiasts come across them as a matter of course as borders are by definition the edge of something and quite often represent the furthest international point of a country.

The western most point of Germany
The Eastern most point of Hungary
Haldenwanger Eck – the southernmost point of Germany
The eastern point of Slovakia

Other oddities

Sometimes it is difficult to neatly classify why a place is odd – here are a few that I have come across:

Ubjerg Church, a German church that found itself in Denmark after the 1920 plebiscite.
Salzbergwerk Dürrnberg – the border between AT/DE
The Vennbahn railway (now cycleway) is Belgian whereas the land on either side is Germany
Vilmkærgård Farmhouse, Denmark
A divided golf course between AT/DE at Reit im Winkl
A German railway station in Poland with no connections with the Polish network

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