Switzerland’s German Island


Although the pretty village of Büsingen is part of the Federal Republic of Germany, it sits like an island surrounded by the canton of Schaffhausen. Many special circumstances govern the community’s life. The Exclave Trail offers insights into this unusual case.

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The German exclave (or Swiss enclave) belongs politically to Germany, but economically and socio-politically, Büsingen’s inhabitants are oriented towards Switzerland. Two zip codes, the only German soccer club in the Swiss Liga, as well as its own car licence plate, mark the village’s German-Swiss identity.

The Exclave Trail lets hikers explore the scenic landscape on the High Rhine (Hochrhein). This special tour takes about two and a half hours and leads past eleven stations that present information on Büsingen’s status and history. On this tour you are passing the Rhine Mill (Rheinmühle), the Squire’s Mansion (Junkerhaus) and the Romanic Mountain Churche. In Restaurant Waldheim you have the opportunity to sit at a table where the border runs beneath their feet.

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