A quick tour across the world stopping at some geographical curiosities
This is not an exhaustive list but rather one website in a chain of similar though more thorough and professional
sites. Herein are a list of places which interest me personally and are not well covered in the other enclave websites.
This website covers -
· enclaves of various flavors
· foreign offshore islands
· chains of dispute
· ghost island and a ghost city
· one DMZ
the author, Doc in ny
I live in the Village, Manhattan, on 6th and 14th Street.
I am not a historian, geographer, or cartographer. I apologize for any errors and encourage people
to email me corrections.
Contact - Docinny at yahoo dot com.
A different site – where art and geography
Due to historical strangeness over time, the village of Baarle is split up into dozens of parcel sized enclaves of Belgium
surrounded by the Netherlands.
With the exception of one spectacular area, Baarle is the most ‘enclaved’ place on earth.
click on ‘Baarle enclaves’ then “to English”,depending on how good your Dutch is!
Cyprus – Island of Enclaves and Strangeness
There are many boundaries in Cyprus,
best explained and explored at links below.
There are two towns (Xylotymbou and Ormidhia) as well as a power station, all of which are Cypriot enclaves within
one of the two British military bases on the island. The British bases there are NOT part of the EU. Cyprus
and the UK are, however.
There is also an enclave called Kokkina, a small sea girt wedge of the Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus within
the Republic of (Greek) Cyprus. More on Cyprus’ strangeness later. These sites have great sections on Cyprus
(click kategorie 3, zypern,ormidhia..) and (katagorie 3 ehemalige zypern strovilia)
and Boundaries of Cyprus by Jesper Nielsen's http://www.nicolette.dk/cyprus/
Kokkina photos http://www.hmheiner.dk/fynbo/
enclaves in Russia
Adygea region is completed surrounded by Krasnodar
(“Red Gift”) Region/Krai
(in German http://alenos.piranho.de/regionen/krasnodar.htm)
About Adygea - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adygeya
Additionally, Ust-Ord Buriatia (Number 1) is completely surrounded
by the Irkutsk Region (Number 38). Finally, Ahin Buratia (number 80) is completely surrounded by Chita (number 75) The best place to see these places are on the numbers above on the clickable map of
Russia at http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/geo-asia.html
Enclaves in the former USSR
The Fergana Valley region and
surrounding new countries (“stans”)
in Central Asia have a about 7 enclaves left over from the USSR..
The USSR didn’t break up politely
in some places. The best sites with maps and some explanations of former USSR enclaves can be found at http://home.no.net/enklaver/ There is a list of some of them in the Uzbek/Tajik neighborhood and some discussion here http://eng.gateway.kg/batke
Armenia/Azerbaijan have many enclaves, all small; four around Armenia
and about seven around Nagorno Karbakh (itself an enclave). None however exist
anymore except some as ghost towns as the respective populations were deported or harassed or killed during the war in 1992.
By their very nature enclaves are easy to overrun and destroy.
A list of some enclaves in this area, photos and maps are as follows.
The following are marked but not named on Chris’ Armenian section.
Mazra, near Karaglukh (Dashbashi), south Nagarno Karabak
Butterfly shaped enclave in NW Nagorno Karabak is Agdaban – the other town in it is Chaikovyshan Чайковушан
NW of Agdaban/fizuli is Yukari Veislari North of a tiny shoe shaped enclave
Created under Stalin, these days you can see their destruction on google.earth
Кярки Karki - Triangular bit of Naxivashan close to border and completely surrounded by Armenia proper. Formerly Azeri before the war (like all), it is now Armenian and
renamed Tigranashen. Good photos as follows
India has many domestic enclaves. On state with many is Pondichery. There are some maps here, down
the page http://www.mapsofindia.com/maps/pondicherry/pondichery.html
Some Indian enclaves are the result of former colonial outposts.
There were countless historical domestic enclaves in India/Pak/Bangla before they united and were partitioned.
http://www.terra.es/personal7/jqvaraderey/193447id.gif – this is a great map.
Modern day state of Goa – A former Portuguese
colonial outpost in India.
More on India later.
The World Enclave Territory Society website
is a great place for Chinese enclaves.
Outposts of the British (Hong Kong) and Portugese (Macau) were absorbed by the People’s Republic a few years
ago, but they were the last in a long line of foreign outposts in China.
Many ended after WW2 and were centered in Shanghai and Beijing.
These legations were like embassies only larger, some populated by thousands. They were a large factor in the Boxer Rebellion.
In Yokohama Japan
there were also some lesser-known legations. The affront to the Japanese these legations caused resulted in the Meiji constitution
and laws. The Europeans said they needed the legations because local laws weren’t sufficient to protect them. Outraged,
the Meiji Emperor’s government passed many laws which nullified the necessity of these extraterritorial enclaves in
their country. So they folded. Japan was
the ultimate winner here, as these laws were the foundation of the soon to be extremely powerful Japanese Empire.
Hong Kong was a city
founded on the opium trade, or rather the British insistence on selling opium (to the Chinese). Ironically an equally destructive
policy is now in effect, but in reverse, everywhere. The Walled City
in HK was an enclave of organized official lawlessness in Hong Kong.
Enclave Territory Society site (in Japanese)
listed a thte end of this website gives a good overview of historical European enclaves in East Asia.
The only notable prefecture (state) sized enclaves are two towns that seem to have floated away from Wakayama Pref.
and landed in Mie prefecture next door. You can see one here -
BUT, and I’m yet to get some maps of them, there are hundreds of enclaves at the chome level. Chome(s) (pronounced
cho as in cho-re and me as in me-tro, NOT like chrome) are the smallest unit of division in Japan. After ken (prefecture) there’s “cho” (neighborhood) and
then “Chome” .Saitama-ken next to Tokyo has many
dozens of enclaved chomes.
When rendered in color on a map they are quite spectacular.
As if addresses in Japan weren’t
horribly difficult to find without enclaves!! ;-)
village in France - Livia
An interesting case history with cool maps of an inhabited and prosperous enclave of Spain
completely surrounded by France.
and the city’s homepage http://www.llivia.com/
Former Homelands of Republic of South Africa
(just below Lesotho) and http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/africa/safrica_provinces_95.jpg ........(in yellow)
Until the 1990s there were 10 or so Bantustans. These are fake states the apartheid
government of the Republic of South
Africa established to warehouse black people and disassociate them from the South African state.
They no longer exist, the states that is.
Like the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,
these "countries" (Bantustans) were only recognized by the country giving them "independence".
But they had flags, seals, passports, stamps, citizenships, governments, and in some cases patrolled borders. It is interesting
because the many states within RSA were designed specifically as enclaves to better control the populations. Apart from perhaps
Israel, it is one of the only places where
a state had been purposely established as a series of enclaves used as a political
tool of control.
Excellent color map of homelands with all enclaves. The arrows are commuters to and from the Bantustans.
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/africa/south_african_homelands.gif Bophuthastwana's 6 enclaves, one was the famous (and still running) casino and resort Sun City.
Obscurely, the South Africans also intended to establish similar "Homelands" in Namibia,
or SW Africa as it was then. They never became independent but there is a map of the plan
at http://www.1uptravel.com/worldmaps/namibia5.html and a discussion of the situation http://flagspot.net/flags/na_bantu.html#pol ..love the name "Bushmanland"!
Evidently these borders were kept by the Namibians because they became, in part, the borders of Namibia's current provinces. http://www.1uptravel.com/worldmaps/namibia2.html .
And there’s the more well known former enclave of Walvis Bay which was (no more) a part of the Republic of Sth Africa
in Namibia/SWA http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/africa/nambia_walvis_pol78.jpg
Whether like South Africa where
a homeland was established as a series of enclaves to oppress, or whether a result of the hideous real estate bitch endemic
to the area, is open to debate. Regardless, the new Palestinian “state” is scattered across the west bank and
From http://www.fmep.org/maps - an excellent source of Israeli maps. You can
almost plot the disastrous “peace process” via the maps.
Another map. Israel is a cartographers’
all time fantasy. http://www.mideastweb.org/palestineOslo1.gif
Middle East Matrioshka Doll
The soon to be dismantled settlements of New Deqalim, Gadid, etc were until recently in the unusual situation of
being a enclaves of Jews surrounded by Arabs (Gaza), surrounded by Jews (Gaza is hemmed in on three of four sides by Israel)
which is in turn surrounded by Arab countries. http://www.littleredbutton.com/gaza/map.html
Bay, ACT is a domestic/internal enclave of the Australian Capital
Territory (“A.C.T.”) – the Federal District within New
South Wales on the coast. Some of it is Aboriginal land but it was established for the Australian
Locality Map http://www.dotars.gov.au/terr/jervis/
The ACT itself is a “First level enclave” surrounded entirely by New
As if Tiny Liechtenstein being cut up into a dozen sections wasn’t strange enough, they have enclaves also!
A view of the entire country which gives a great feel for the country is
Each even has a (pretty plain) flag http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/misc/li(.gif http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/li(.html
This is due to the canton system of government, which the Swiss also use. Switzerland is a whole mess of enclaves and geographical oddities.
Switzerland Canton map
Flags of the world website maps of Switzerland
is a great place to study Swiss enclaves.
The GRAND WINNER, the CENTERFOLD, the
MAIN EVENT when it comes to enclaves is Cooch Behar, India/Bangladesh
The region of India/Bangladesh has nearly 200 enclaves,
many absolutely tiny, and some wrapped in other enclaves. It has been hypothesized that the name for them “Chits”
came from chits the old maharajas and colonial powers played cards with, betting various estates on card games. It has lead
to a difficult situation for the inhabitants of the enclaves.
Location - http://www.globalgeografia.com/asia/cooch_behar1.gif
These are the best maps there are, unfortunately
To better understand this, there is a relationship chart
-special thanks Brendan Whyte of Melbourne whose
books on these enclaves and Baarle are roundly lauded to be the most authoritative available.
Enclave of Benishangul surrounded by Oromia
Bosanskoposavski Kanton, Canton 2
In my hometwn of New York City
Manhattan Borough is an island surrounded by the Hudson and East Rivers. However, there is a small enclave
of Manhattan just over the river in Bronx. There, the zip
codes are Manhattan’s, the area code for most houses is 212 (Bronx is 718), and the manholes
are marked Manhattan. Here are some websites where you can
see it. (map) http://explanation-guide.info/meaning/Marble-Hill,-Manhattan,-New-York.html http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Marble-Hill,-Manhattan,-New-York
NYC. Less of an enclave but interesting nevertheless is Riker's Island, the jail complex of the City of New York is considered to be in the borough of the Bronx, but is only accessible via the Riker's Island Bridge, which terminates in the borough of Queens.
A special note here. - Shining Prison on a Hill
· We specialize in prisons in the USA
and Rikers Island
is the largest by population in the country. Two million Americans are incarcerated at the moment. This is due to a pervasive
ideology which sees imprisonment as a cure all for virtually all social problems. We have one of the highest crimes rates
in the world.
kind of enclave
The Demilitarized Zone, North/South Korean Border
Truce Village is an enclave of both North and South
Korea within the famous Demilitarized Zone between the two countries.
The two countries. The DMZ is a no mans’ land strewn with barbed
wire and land mines. As a result of the lack of human presence it is a wildlife preserve; presumably a preserve for very light
Additionally, there are two propaganda villages on either side of the border but surrounded almost completely by
the DMZ. An overview of area and situation
Villages for show within the DMZ
Kijong-dong propaganda village, situated 1.8km away from Taesung-dong, was built specially in the north area of
DMZ for the purpose of propaganda. There are no residents except soldiers. The world’s highest flag tower is there;
North Korea’s national flag is at
the entrance to the village
The South Koreans also havea propaganda village known as Taesung-dong, but it is inhabited.
The Korean DMZ is not the only DMZ in the world – there is also the “Green Line” in Cyprus which
is quite broad in places, the former No Man’s Land between East and West Germany, and a there was a large DMZ separating
the former North and South Vietnam. There is (was?) a small neutral zone between British Gibralter and Spain.
A room in two countries.
Surely one of the strangest geographical oddities on earth is the ‘Mac Room’ in a hut between the two
Koreas in Pamunjom on the DMZ. Sovereignty
this lounge sized room is shared, depending on what time of day and day of the week it is (there’s a door on the north,
and one on the south side of the building/room). When there are talks in the room the actual border between the countries
is the microphone wire in the middle of the negotiation table. Surely the only bi-national table and room on earth!
OFFSHORE FOREIGN ISLANDS
They are not officially enclaves but they are similar. Sometimes borders between countries that occur in an island
chain are situated half way, but at times a whole island chain is claimed by one country and abuts the territory of another
Examples are as follows -
Australia - Papua
The far north of the Torres Straight Islands are Boigu, Saibai, and Daunan Islands which although are extremely
close to Papua New Guinea are actually
Australian territory. http://www.cairnsa2z.com.au/maps/torstrait.gif
Although Australia is an island, one could almost swim to Papua New Guinea from these islands.
Sometimes, when two countries are unfriendly such offshore islands have caused political or military clashes
More North/South Korea
Island is just off the coast of, and pretty much surrounded by North Korea but is South Korean territory. There’s a
US Forces base there, written about herein;
Paengnyong-do is on the far left/east of the peninsula if you follow the DMZ border line.
Imia Islets - Turkey
Also, Greece and Turkey
have come to blows over the Imia islets which belong to
http://www.hri.org/docs/imia-hri/maps/Tzoom.jpg – Turkish map
http://www.hri.org/docs/imia-hri/maps1/gr1.jpg Greek map
http://www.hri.org/docs/imia-hri/maps/Rzoom.jpg Russian map
http://www.hri.org/docs/imia-hri/maps1/usarmy1-lw.jpg US map
St. Pierre and Miquelon
… are two little known small inhabited islands owned by France
off the coast of Canada.
http://www.st-pierre-et-miquelon.com/ and result in three flags flying over North America,
not two as is generally assumed. http://www.st-pierre-et-miquelon.com/
Quemoy and Matsu are Taiwanese Islands
just off the PRChina coast.
– Cambodia - Dao Phu Quoc
In the 1970s there were scuffles and clashes between Cambodia
(then Democratic Kampuchea) and Vietnam over the island off Cambodia, Dao Phu Quoc island in the Gulf of Thailand, belonging to Vietnam.
Lying 7 miles (11 km) off the Cambodian coast south of Bok Kou (formerly Bokor) and 43 miles (69 km) west of the west
coast of southern Vietnam. Ownership is
disputed but Vietnam has possession.
Map http://www.vietnamstay.com/hotel/saigonphuquoc/sgphuquocmap.htm location map
– Russia Kuril Islands
After the war, Stalin stole the Southern Kuril Islands from Japan.
Like all the offshore foreign islands in this section and their respective coasts, the Russian controlled Kuril Islands can
be easily seen by the naked eye from Japan.
All Japanese maps show them as Japanese, all Russian maps as Russian. Foreign maps generally show them as Russian. The situation
Maps - http://artedi.fish.washington.edu/okhotskia/ikip/Gallery/Map/southgrp.htm
Space panorama http://www.oceandots.com/pacific/kuril/kunashir_panorama.htm
Click on the islands on the map for some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. Beautiful Urup is slated to
be a Russian nuclear waste dump, and other islands have been terribly polluted. This in a HUGELY earthquake prone/damaged
area and one of the best fishing grounds around.
Additionally, Karafuto (“Sakhalin”) was half Japanese. It was traded
for the Kurile islands but Russia never
paid up. http://www12.ocn.ne.jp/~kabaren/
The four islands in question are Etorofu, Kunashiri, Hamobai, and Shikotan, but the tiny Hamobai chain and Shitokan
islands are not actually Kuril islands, though politically they are classed as such. February
18th is “Northern Territories Day” (the English Japanese name, in Japanese the
entire chain is called Chishima - characters meaning ‘Thousand Islands’ with the disputed part Hopporyodo –
Habomai - http://circle.cc.hokudai.ac.jp/cycling/info/kuril/habomai.html
Shikotan http://artedi. DMZfish.washington.edu/okhotskia/ikip/Results/dbmaps/map/South/shikotan.htm
Like the DMZ where lack of humans has resulted in a beautiful wildlife area, Russian mismanagement, or rather,
fortunate lack of development has resulted in the Kuril Islands being an almost pristine
and beautiful wilderness. This only applies to neglected islands because most places where the Russians DID things, are badly
polluted. Whether Japanese development or Russian mismanagement is worse for the environment is a difficult question. An island
not under dispute but very beautiful in the North Kurils is Onekotan - http://lkirchner.de/onekotan/onekotan/onekotan.html
Offshore and visible from Japan
is the Japanese islands of Takeshima, or Tokdo in Korean which have caused such a fuss of late.
http://www.pref.shimane.jp/section/takesima/eng/top.html Japanese argument
http://www.tokdo.co.kr/english/english_index.htm Korean argument
http://www.hamaguchi.ne.jp/takeshima/040701_4.html pic at the bottom - looks small but they're actually
huge. "Our island, our sea, our territory!"
Senkaku/Daiyutai Isets close to Taiwan cause a lot of disharmony
between China, Taiwan
Additionally, there’s a tiny island under dispute (the Chinese call it a “rock” for legal reasons)
which is the Southernmost point in Japan.
total land area is less than an average lounge room. Typically, the Japanese government has built a huge “research station”
on stilts next to the two islets of this submerged tropical atoll. They’ve also propped up/topped up the tiny islets
with rocks, and possibly the remains of Hello Kittys. Strangely, Okino.-Is. and several other large distant islands are administratively
part of Metropolitan Tokyo.
CHAINS OF DISPUTE
complains of a British outpost (Gibralter) while Spain itself hangs on
to four enclaves of its own in Morocco.
Which Morocco isn’t happy about, yet Morocco
owns an entire country not belonging to them; Western Sahara. The Western Saharans own almost nothing, and live (very unhappily) in camps in Algeria mainly. There the chain of dispute ends.
On the other side of the world, there’s a similar situation. Japan
complains of its Kurile Islands being occupied by Russia, yet Japan hangs on to the Senkaku Islands
just off Taiwan. According to the Taiwanese,
and the PRC, the Senkakus are Chinese.
Further, Taiwan occupies several islands off China, Matsu and Quemoy Islands (see above). All that goes into the mix further south in the Spratleys/Parcel
Islands, a group of islands claimed by PRChina, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, and even Brunei.
Great interactive map
Not all enclaves and geographical curiosities are contained or defined by international boundaries. Some are just
there, the result of history, war, or geography.
There were, from the 1960s until the 1990s, two “Neutral Zones” between Saudi
Arabia and Iraq, and Saudi
Arabia and Kuwait.
The most memorable things about them were their shapes. To my knowledge they were the only agreed upon neutral zone in the
Some links about them
Very good map here http://www.home.pages.at/maxifant/Frames/neutr.jpg (thanks to Chris Schulz)
under boundaries history http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a3_304.html
map showing KSA-Iraqi zone. http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/infobank/gazette/html/regions/rs.html Legal This is the document partitioning the zone between Kuwait and KSA. http://www.meij.or.jp/text/border/KSA-Kuwait/ksakwt1965.htm
A ghost city – Famagusta,
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
In addition to its other geographical oddities, a geographical curiosity there is the ghost town of Famagusta
in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It has been sealed since 1974 when the residents left
in a hurry. It looks like a sort of tacky Med. sea-side resort frozen in time. http://www.inhostage.com/html.html http://www.inhostage.com/gallery.html http://othellos.4t.com/photo.html
Ghost towns are common on earth, but none are of the size of Famagusta.
In many respects, the TRNCyprus is itself a weirdness, a country recognized only by Turkey which pretends to be independent.
Turkish tourist map that shows the entire island of Cyprus
as part of Turkey http://www.hri.org/docs/imia-hri/maps1/tur95-lw.jpg
There are many ghost towns the world over; the US west, some
towns in Siberia, etc. but none are the size and complexity of Famagusta/Varosha which was
a large seaside community. Except maybe Chernobyl http://www.worldcityphotos.org/Russia/RUS-Chernobyl-YArthusBertrand1.jpg
Fear not, I’m sure with our reliance on nuclear energy there’ll be plenty of ghost towns and cities
for our grandchildren to not enjoy….
Weird assed sci-fi like towers still standing on stilts out of the water after WW2
Get money, buy one, live in one.
Gunkan-jima Gun boat island, Nagasaki-ken/pref.
One of the coolest places on earth in my book.
Formerly an important company island coal mine
of Mitsubishi, Gunkan-shima (Shima/Jima mean “island”), this spec of land near Nagasaki City was closed down in
the 1970s and has been beautifully decaying ever since. It is soon to be listed as a World Heritage Site. Like Famagusta however, it is impossible to visit except online (as follows)
More (Japanese only though you can use auto translate below)
You can see a movie of the island.
If you’re interested in enclaves and oddities, I can recommend the following;
Particular thanks to Chris Schultz whose site above is the premier enclave site online today.
An extremely detailed list of enclaves and some geog curiosities – the autorative list
It is in German so cut and paste the website address into the box at http://world.altavista.com/babelfish/tr, and click German to English.
This is a very good site (in Japanese)
The World Enclave Territory Society
and in English (or click English version on the above)
*“flying area” is internet translation machine talk for “enclave”
Because it is automatically translated into English, sometimes it doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it is
still worth visiting for the maps alone.
Much credit and thanks must go to the following geographic website owners and enclave experts, several pay grades
above myself. Many of the enclaves and oddities above come from their sites and I encourage you to visit them.
Special thanks to enclavologists Brendan White of the University
Border Conflicts website - recommended
Pop up apologies. Many of the websites and
maps I reference above, including this site have pop-up ads which automatically appear when you click to see the link.
There’s nothing I can do about that and I apologize for the inconvenience. It is the price one pays for free
server space and free websites. I doubt the ads actually WORK (I never look at them) but while companies think they do, we
get free websites. And that’s not a bad deal.
The Google Toolbar when you download it has a good popup stopper.
Detail of Charles’ Armenia/Azerbaijan enclave
Мазра/Mazra Southern most enclave in Nagorno Karabak is Mazra, next to town of Karaglukh (Dashbashi), Mazra is azeri enclave in Armenian Nagorno Karab. 4km NW of Arakyal
is the name of the butterfly shaped enclave of Azerbaijan
charles doesn’t name. Its in the far north of Nagoro-Karabak is – and the smaller other town in the enclave is
Chaikovyshan Чайковушан. It is the scene of alleged Armenian atrocities.
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