Local Heart, Global Soul

July 16, 2015

Drielandenpunt, Now Where Exactly Is It? …Many Are Fooled.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The triangle where the borders of the Netherlands,Belgium and Germany intersect is called the “Drielandenpunt Vaals”.

The point is also located near the summit of Vaalserberg on the border of the municipalities of Vaals (Dutch Limburg), Plombières and Calamine (both in the Belgian province of Liege) and Aachen (in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia).

The current Drielandenpunt Vaals ran along five different borders from 1815. However, there were never more than four boundaries come together simultaneously, as various States came and went.

The border triangle was a four-country point from 1839 – 1919. Netherlands, Belgium and Prussia (later Germany) being joined here by the mini-state Moresnet.

Af the end of World War I there were several border corrections between Belgium and Germany when Moresnet (a neutral country) was annexed to Belgium. Since then, the four country point Vaals become a three-point meeting point.

The first tower on the Vaalserberg was built of wood by a group called the “Highest Point of the Netherlands Foundation” in 1905 and they named it the “Wilhelminatoren” (Wilhelmina Tower) after the former Dutch queen Queen Wilhelmina.

There are also accounts that prior to First World War a woman from Gemmenich took up a regular spot here with a wooden cart that sold lemonade from the top side and, hidden from sight under a tarpaulin, other stronger drinks.

In 1924 on the Dutch side a wooden hut was built that sold soft drinks, sweets and postcards.

In 1928 the new symbolic Drielandenpunt was opened, and the collection of old landmarks were relocated near the memorial to the highest point in the Netherlands and in 1930 the municipality of Vaals took responsibility for the creation of a new access road to the Vaalserberg, making the Drielandenpunt accessible by car. The oldest border poles are from the Vrije Rijksstad Aken (former free city of Aken). These stones from 1340 can be recognised by the German eagle emblem on them. Of the 180 original stones only about 18 are left in the forest of Aken.

The symbolic three country corner is considered by many tourists as the real three country corner, but in fact the real one is located some 50 m further. The confusion is increased by the fact that two of the three border markers once stood on the real three country corners. The real three country corner at Vaals is today marked by a pole from 1926. In that year two original poles were placed to the symbolic country corner, the Belgium one is a copy of the one donated by the Dutch tourist bureau in replacement of the one the disappeared from Moresnet and around the real pole, the position of each of the four nations is still marked out on the ground.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The one below looks like but isn’t…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This one IS the real three country point… complete with original markings and metal lines set into the ground…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Two of the other original ,markers incorporated into the not-real marker point…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

 

Drielandenpunt (Vaals)

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: