The Atlas of Unusual Borders
Mr B's review
This fascinating book charts weird and wonderful curiosities of geography from around the world. From wedding gift enclaves in Bosnia, to bizarre Finnish boundaries drawn up to build a lighthouse and towns where neighbours need passports to pop in for a cup of tea. With beautiful maps and potted histories of all of these quirks of cartography, this is a timely gift for anyone intrigued by international bonds and divisions.
The world is not always what we think it is. This beautifully designed book presents unusual borders, enclaves and exclaves, divided or non-existent cities and islands. Numerous conflicts have left countries divided and often shattered. Remnants of countries can by design or accident be left behind as a legal anomaly in this complex world.
Most people believe that a country’s borders are clearly defined: just lines that separate countries. Everything on one side of the line belongs to one country and everything on the other side belongs to another country. This might be the case most of the time, but there are unusual exceptions to this unwritten rule.
* Campione d’Italia where Italian residents have to travel 15km through Switzerland to reach the nearest available Italian territory
* Tomb of Suleyman Shah which is a tiny Turkish enclave within Syria which was moved closer to Turkey when Lake Assad was created but still stayed in Syria
* Pheasant Island which for half a year belongs to the Spanish city of Irun, and the remaining half, to its French twin-town, Hendaye
* Canadian Stanstead and American Beebe Plain where the boundary line runs along the centre of the main street, so that the houses on one side of the street are in Canada and on the other in the United States
These and many more instances are captured in this fascinating book full of strange geographical intrigue.
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