Volleyball Courts To Waterfalls: 45 Interesting Country Borders From Across The GlobeBy Giovanni DS
Cities, states, provinces, and countries are all divided, shaped, and formed by the use of borders. Borders are political and manmade boundaries that kingdoms and nations have used to mark and establish their territories. Some hate the idea. Others find them a means to an end. But the fact remains that they were/are vital to the management of modern-day cities, states, and all classifications in between. Some borders have been a source of minor to major conflicts over the centuries, but that is not our focus. No, we will be looking at some of the most fascinating borders that exist around us in the modern world. A couple of which are sure to elicit chuckles or provide you with an interesting fact that you didn’t know. So, join us as we go country-hopping and sighting around the world!
Fish of Poland and Ukraine
The Poland-Ukraine boundary separates the two European countries and covers a length of 535 km. The border has undergone various shifts and changes due to the area’s turbulent history. The current barrier traces itself to a rough version established in 1920.
There are several interesting border markers along the 535 km long demarcation, but none are as interesting as this one. These giant fish geoglyphs were created by Polish artist Jaroslaw Koziara, with the piece serving as a symbol of unity.
The Tri-border of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay
South America features a rather interesting tri-border that separates the countries of Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. This natural border is formed by the Iguazú and Paraná rivers which meet at this junction point. The border is known as the Triple Frontier.
The area is populated by three different border cities, one from each nation, and is near the Itaipú hydroelectric dam. The site is a popular tourist attraction due to its unique geographical formation, providing an easy means of country hopping.
Where Germany, Poland, and Czechia Meet
This picturesque scene is called the Eastern Upper Lusatia, a natural region that falls into the Western Sudetes area. The Sudetes Mountain range is called a geomorphological sub-province that is divided and shared between the countries Germany, Poland, and Czechia.
Some parts of the Lusatia cross into parts of Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic, with all three meeting at the tripoint. The meeting point can be seen in this picture, showing the flags of the respective nations and the European Union.
Between Kenya and Tanzania
The Maasai Mara is an enormous national reserve in the country of Narok in Kenya. The park gets its name for the Maasai people who traveled to the area centuries ago. The Mara has a boundary with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.
These two national reserves/parks are, in essence, the borders to the respective countries. Here we can see a gentleman who is standing on a stone marker that identifies the borderline. Now that is one attractive way of creating a border.
The Bridge Between Hungary and Slovakia
This exquisite picture is of the Mária Valéria Bridge that joins the central European cites of Esztergom and Štúrovo. Esztergom is a country city in Hungary and Štúrovo is a small city in Slovakia to the right of Esztergom.
The bridge is named after Archduchess Marie Valerie, the daughter of the Austrian-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef and Duchess Elisabeth of Bavaria. The bridge measures 500 meters long and stretches across the River Danube, which is the second-longest river in Europe.
A monument for France, Germany, and Switzerland
Basel is the third-largest city in Switzerland and is arguably one of the most beautiful and intriguing cities you will ever see. The town is famous for its many art museums, such as the Kunstmuseum, its education system, and architecture.
Within Basel stands the Dreiländereck monument, which can be found in the middle of the Rhine river. The Dreiländereck marks the boundary point where the borders of Switzerland meet those of France and Germany. The monument is secured on Swiss territory.
The Cairn of Finland, Norway, and Sweden
This odd-like stone feature is called the Three-Country Cairn. This feature serves as a tripoint that marks where the borders of the Nordic countries Finland, Norway, and Sweden meet. This specific cairn has its own name in each nation’s respective language.
The use of cairns as border marks has been a common feature in the area. This tripoint cairn was built in 1926 after numerous border changes and political negotiations. As an artificial island, it is regarded as the smallest in the world.
In all fairness, this next one is not a borderline still in use. That said, it was far too interesting, not to mention. Hadrian’s Wall was a fortified defense that the Roman Emperor Hadrian built horizontally across the British isle.
The wall was built in 122 AD and served as a defense against the rebellious Caledonian tribes in the north. Caledonia is the Latin name for Scotland. Years of natural decay and looting have gradually diminished the wall’s overall size.
Vaalserberg, the meeting point of Belgium, Germany, and The Netherlands
Near the Dutch town of Vaals, you can find the Vaalsberg hill and forest where the tripoint of the three countries are united. Until 2010, it held the distinction of being the highest point in the Netherlands…but that’s not what makes it special.
Interestingly enough, this tripoint was or could have been a quadripoint. In 1816 there existed the condominium of Neutral Moresnet, a territory that was jointly administered by the kingdoms of the Netherlands and Prussia. It became part of Belgium in 1920.
The Stripe of Portugal and Spain
We mentioned the Portugal-Spain border called The Stripe earlier, but not in enough detail. The Stripe (A Raia/La Raya in Portuguese/Spanish) measures over 1200 km and is one of the oldest borders in the world. Close to a thousand years, in fact.
The shape of the border was first established in 1143 following the Portuguese victory at the Battle of Valdevez. The frame was redefined in 1297 following the peace Treaty of Alcañices, a border that has remained largely unchanged ever since.
The astounding Iguazu Fall is formed by the Iguazu River in South America, between the borders of Argentina and Brazil. The waterfall serves as a natural border between the state of Paraná (Brazil) and the province of Misiones (Argentina).
The falls are, rather unsurprisingly, a popular tourist attraction. The falls even made an appearance (in part) in the popular Marvel movie Black Panther. Iguazu is also shared between two national parks, both of which are regarded as UNESCO Sites.
Trees of Germany and Czechia
This picture was taken along one side of the border between Germany and the Czech Republic. This area is near the Czech Šumava National Park, also called the Bohemian Forest National Park. The picture also highlights each country’s approach to forestry conservation.
The Czech side (on the right) displays the consequences of what happens when bark beetle infestations are not managed. The bark beetle is regarded mainly as a pest (especially by the lumber sector) due to the damage they inflict on trees.
Zipline from Spain to Portugal
Yep, you read that right! In the Iberian peninsula of western Europe, there exists a zipline that can take you from Spain to Portugal. The zipline runs from the Spanish city of Sanlucar de Guadiana across the River Guadiana to Alcoutim in Portugal.
The Guadiana river (or the Odiana) is an international river that forms part of the Portugal-Spain border, called “The Stripe.” The zipline runs for 720 meters across the river, with participants capable of reaching speeds of 70 km per hour!
A Bridge Between Denmark and Sweden
First things first: this picture is definitely incredibly beautiful, but the flags were placed on the wrong sides and should have been reversed. This is the Øresund Bridge, an 8km non-border bridge that connects the kingdoms of Denmark and Sweden.
Øresund bridge begins in Malmö, Sweden, where it runs for 8 km before connecting to the artificial island of Peberholm. Peberholm then connects to the tiny island of Amager in Denmark by means of the 4 km underwater Drogden Tunnel.
Norway to Sweden
Keeping things Scandinavian, what you are looking at is an extremely lengthy dividing line between the Kingdoms of Norway and Sweden. This is only a section of the border, a part that runs through a densely forested and frosty area.
The entire Norway-Sweden border runs for 1630 km, which can be traced back to 1814 following the Treaty of Kiel. Crossings and entry into either side had always been relatively unobstructed until the Covid pandemic led to tighter border restrictions.
Another view of Norway to Sweden
As touched on, the border between the two nations does not just run through the forested areas. This bridge and the river below it serve as proof, with the border literally crossing through the bride. The bridge is part of Svinesund road.
We mentioned the border was established in 1814, during which time the two countries were part of a joint union. The United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway lasted from 1814-to 1905 until Norway declared independence and crowned Haakon VII as king.
The Beach Between Poland and Germany
In the Baltic Sea, you can find the sandy island of Usedom, measuring 66 km long and 23 km wide. An island that is divided between the countries of Germany and Poland, with a mixed population of 76000 people altogether.
The German side is known for its peculiar architecture, its resorts, and three beachside towns. The southern Polish side is home to a two-century-year-old lighthouse and its own Museum of Sea Fishery. The island as a whole is known for its nature parks.
Austria and Slovenia over the Alps
This is the Karavanke or Karawanken, a mountain range that runs between the Sava and Drava rivers of central Europe. The mountain range forms part of the Southern Limestone Alps, which serve as a natural border between Austria and Slovenia.
There are two main ways of traversing the mountain range, the oldest being the Wurzenpass. Wurzenpass runs from the Carinthia in Austria and Podkoren in Slovenia. The second option is the transnational Karawanks Motorway Tunnel which was opened in 1991.
The River Prut, Romania and Moldova
In Eastern Europe, there lies the tributary Prut river that flows into the Danube river. The Prut river serves as and is part of the border between Romania and Moldova. Part of the river flows into the boundary of Ukraine.
This picture gives you an aerial view of the very bendy river as it snakes along between the two countries. It is hypothesized that the river’s name either derived from the Ancient Greek name Pyretus or the Scythian name Porata.
Brazil and Paraguay Bridge
Between the nations of Brazil and Paraguay stands the Friendship Bridge. This bridge, built-in 1965, measures 290 meters and straddles the banks of the Paraná River. The bridge connects the Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este and Brazil’s city of Foz do Iguaçu.
The bridge is regarded as extremely economically important, allowing the cities of either nation to trade unhindered. The Paraná River is the second-longest river in South America, only dwarfed by the great Amazon River. The river runs for over 4880 km.
Austria, Hungary, Slovakia
This little table can be found not far from the Slovakian capital of Bratislava and over the border to Austria. This table is, in fact, another tripoint that marks the meeting point between the edges of Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary.
Seating down at this table means you literally have an international snack or lunch with other people around the table. There is not much information about this table, so we cannot say when or who decided to build it however, the concept is fantastic.
The Tale of Two Nations, Belgium and The Netherlands
Situated between the countries of The Netherlands and Belgium lies one of the most confusing city borders ever imaginable, as seen in these photos. We’re talking about the Flemish municipality of Baarle-Hertog, a territory of Belgium that is surrounded by parts of The Netherlands.
Looking at the above pictures, we can see that the border crosses through and divides up parts of the municipality. Borders that it shares with the neighboring Dutch municipality of Baarle-Nassau. This confusing marriage is due to century-old medieval treaties.
Okay, fine, this is more of a joke than anything else, but we are sure it will get a laugh. Australia does not share any landbound borders with any other country. This is due to them being a country and continent all in one.
That said, the country does share a lot of maritime borders with New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands. That’s a lot of places with the word ‘new’ in them, do you not think? It seems Australia is the hermit of the border world.
Canada and the USA
This next one is fairly similar to the border between Norway and Sweden, as you will see. The boundary between the USA and Canada is said to run for 8890 km through land and water. Making it the longest border in the world.
The border was roughly started in 1783, following the end of the War of Independence and the Treaty of Paris. The current form only came about during 1908 and following the Treaty of 1908 between the USA and the UK.
Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine
This is the Slovakian mountain of Krzemieniec, atop which stands this grey stone marking post. This tripoint serves as the marking point where Poland, Ukraine, and Slovakia all converge. Krzemieniec forms part of the Bieszczady mountain range in central-eastern Europe.
Possibly due to language barriers, there is not a whole lot of information about this marker or its makers. Three national parks, one from each country, and the UNESCO Stužica Reserve also all converge at the peak of Krzemieniec.
Narva River Between Russia and Estonia
Back in 1918, Estonia broke away from the Soviet Union and emerged as the independent Republic of Estonia. Following this, the Estonia-Russia border was formed, a barrier that measures 294 km long. But there is one spot that is more interesting than the rest.
That spot is the natural border created by the Narva River and the bridge that runs over it. Either side of the bridge is watched over by two castles. Hermann Castle on the Estonian side, and Ivangorod on the Russian side.
Poland and Czechia
This next phenomenal aerial picture was taken over the Olza River, which feeds into the River Oder. The Olza also separates the Polish region of Cieszyn Silesia and the Czech districts of Karviná and Frýdek-Místek. This makes the Olza part of the border.
The river also served as a source of inspiration for many artists, poets, essayists, and fanciful creatives from both countries. As a natural border, the Olza runs for close to 100 km; the whole Czech-Polish border runs for 796 km.
China and Vietnam Waterfalls
In Southeast and eastern Asia lies the majestic Ban Gioc Falls. The waterfalls are located between the borders of China and Vietnam and within the Karst hills. The Karst hills lie between the Trùng Khánh district (Vietnam) and Daxin County (China).
Ban Gioc is the 4th largest waterfall situated along or between international borders. The falls at times either form into a singular fall or two depending on the rain and the river. It is home to species of plants only found there.
Haskell Library, Canada and the USA
This is the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, a Victorian-style building that is located between the Canada-United States border. The building was purposefully built between the provinces of Quebec and Vermont and their respective towns of Stanstead and Derby Line.
The Haskell building first opened in 1904 and was regarded as a heritage site for both nations by the 1980s. Due to it being shared by two countries, the Haskell library has two different addresses. The library has a collection of 20000 books.
Luxembourg and Germany Bridge
This is most likely the Sûre River (Sauer Fluss in German) that forms part of the Luxembourg-Germany border. Funnily enough, the river flows through the Belgian province of Luxembourg, which should not be confused with Luxembourg, the country. Confusing right?
Much of the rest of the border between Luxembourg and Germany is formed by three rivers, one being the Sûre. The other two rivers are the Moselle and Our rivers, two rivers that also flow within the borders of Belgium.
Andorra, Locked Between Spain and France
Chances are that very, very few of you have ever heard of or seen the tiny sovereign state of Andorra. Andorra is a small landlocked country with an area of 470 km2, stuck between the French and Spanish borders.
The Principality of Andorra shares its borders with France and Spain along the Pyrenees mountain range. Catalan Spanish is the official language with a population of less than 80000. The co-princes of Andorra are always the French president and the Spanish Bishop of Urgell.
Ukraine Airport near Slovakia
In Zakarpattia (a western province in Ukraine) lies the historic city of Uzhhorod, which borders Slovakia. Uzhhorod is also home to Uzhhorod International Airport, which is only 90 meters from the Ukrainian-Slovak border. A detail that has led to a rather bizarre agreement.
Due to the airport’s short distance to the border, all planes that either take off or land to or from Uzhhorod have to use Slovak airspace. This is an unusual occurrence that is made possible due to special treaties between the two countries.
Switzerland and Liechtenstein
Now that you know about Andorra let’s see if any of you know about the equally tiny microstate of Liechtenstein. The Principality of Liechtenstein is located deep in the Alps, surrounded by Switzerland and Austria. It has an area of 160 km2.
As a constitutional monarchy, the state is represented by the Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein. The Rhine river serves as a border between Switzerland and Liechtenstein while also providing a vital water source. Liechtenstein is globally renowned for its natural beauty.
Col Agnel Pass Italy and France
The lesser-known Col Agnel mountain pass is located along the 515 km long French and Italian border. The pass is the 3rd highest paved pass in Europe, with an elevation of 2744 m. Col Agnel is linked to the Cottian Alps.
Scholars believe that the pass was one of the routes that Hannibal of Carthage used during the Second Punic War. A theory that is still uncertain. That said, the pass is still very popular with cycling enthusiasts, who pose at the pictured stone marker.
Mexico vs USA at Volleyball
American news does not always paint a happy picture between Mexico and the USA, but it does exist. This is Naco, Arizona, a tiny town located in Cochise County in the USA. Next to it is Naco, Sonora, its sister in Mexico.
Both towns are based right on the United States-Mexico border, a placement that seems to have fostered a special relationship between the two. As seen in this picture where residents on both sides frequently get together to play a volleyball game.
Conservation Differences, Haiti and The Dominican Republic
In the Caribbean Sea, south of the Atlantic Ocean, is the divided island of Hispaniola. Part of the Greater Antilles islands, Hispaniola, is divided between Haiti and the Dominican Republic (which holds the more significant portion). And this is the result.
The first detail that most likely caught your attention was the difference in greenery. This is, sadly, a showcase of each country’s approach to environmental protection policies, something that Haiti is less rigorous about. We hope this is something that will hopefully change in the future.
A Misconception about the Zavikon Island(s)
This is the Zavikon Island. A name that, at times, either refers solely to the larger island or to the smaller one as well. The island is part of the Thousand Islands archipelago found on the USA’s St. Lawrence River.
Now this island is often incorrectly labeled or thought of as being shared by the US and Canada. A popular tale that no one knows who started. The whole of Zavikon Island belongs to Canada as the island is located in Canadian territory.
Nature Conservation of Brazil vs. Bolivia
As we have seen with Haiti and the Dominican Republic, not all countries have the same sentiment regarding conservation efforts. Another excellent example being of this satellite image taken of the river border between Brazil and Bolivia in South America.
This image, first taken in 2008, shows the difference between Bolivia’s Pando Department and Brazil’s Acre province regarding land usage. Brazil has a far more aggressive approach to forestry and land conversion practices (creating farming land and cattle ranches) than Bolivia.
Italy and Slovenia
Along the Italy-Slovenia border, you can find the Slovene railway station of Nova Gorica. A station that is part of the municipal town of Nova Gorica and which borders the Italian city of Gorizia. Gorizia is known as the old Gorica by Slovenes.
The Transalpina Square of the station is divided between Italy and Slovenia and has changed name and nationality numerous times. This is due to several wars, annexations, and treaties from 1906, when it was first completed by the Austrian Empire.
Peace Border of Brazil and Uruguay
Between the Brazil-Uruguay border stands the two cities of Santana do Livramento (Brazil) and Rivera (Uruguay). The two cities are regarded as one international city due to their close proximity (only a street apart). A fact that is symbolized by this monument.
The boundary marker between the two is called the Peace Border, indicated by a great obelisk placed within the International Square. A name that reflects the bond between the cities and their willingness to intermingle and socialise with each other.
Holy Statue Between Argentina and Chile
Built high in the Principal Cordillera mountains (of the Andean Mountains) stands an over 13-meter-tall statue on the Argentina-Chile border. The holy statue in question is called Christ the Redeemer of the Andes and was first unveiled in the year 1904.
The giant statue was built as a celebratory and symbolic gesture of friendship following a peace treaty over border disputes. It’s a popular tourist attraction and can be seen on the old road that runs through the La Cumbre pass.
Gibraltar UK and the Spanish Border
You are, no doubt, a bit confused by the title as to how can the UK have a border with Spain? Well, the UK, or rather the British Isles, doesn’t share a border with the Kingdom of Spain, but Gibraltar does.
Gibraltar is an overseas territory located on the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of the Iberian peninsula. The area belonged to Spain until it was captured in 1704 during the War of Spanish Succession. Gibraltar was formally ceded to the UK in 1713.
Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the Victoria Falls
In Southern Africa stands the Victoria Falls, one of the biggest waterfalls in the world. The boundary line between Zimbabwe and Zambia cuts through this marvelous waterfall. The Victoria Falls measures 108 m tall with a width of 1708 m!
Victoria is known as “Boiling Water” and “The Smoke That Thunders” in the native languages of Tonga and Lozi, respectively. The advent of modern traveling and the boom of the tourist trade have made Victoria Falls a powerful tourist attraction.
Bastei Bridge, Germany and Czechia
High above the Elbe River of central Europe and atop the Elbe Sandstone Mountains lies the Bastei Bridge. Bastei itself is a famous rock formation that has attracted innumerable tourists over the years. But the bridge is the main attraction.
The current sandstone bridge, wedged between the stones, was constructed in 1851. Before that, there were only old wooden bridges. The Bastei is primarily confined to German borders, but parts of the hiking and climbing areas fall into Czech borders.
Italy and the Vatican City
Most people have probably heard of the Vatican being mentioned at least once in their time. How many people really know where it is, is another question. Vatican City is actually a sovereign city-state, a country of its own, surrounded by Italy.
Vatican City was once part of the city of Rome, where it was founded, until the Lateran Treaty of 1929. Today the border between Italy and the Vatican is marked by the entry point of St. Peter’s Square, part of St. Peter’s Basilica.