Büsingen am Hochrhein
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|Büsingen am Hochrhein|
|Area||7.62 km2 (2.94 sq mi)|
|Elevation||395 m (1296 ft)|
|Population||1,373 (31 December 2011)|
|- Density||180 /km2 (467 /sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)|
|Postal codes||D-78266; CH-8238|
|Area codes||07734 (D); 052 (CH)|
Büsingen am Hochrhein, commonly known as Büsingen, is a German town (7.62 km2 or 2.94 sq mi) entirely surrounded by the Swiss canton of Schaffhausen and, south across the Rhine, by the Swiss cantons of Zürich and Thurgau. It has a population of about 1,450 inhabitants. Since the early 19th century, the town has been separated from the rest of Germany by a narrow strip of land (at its narrowest, about 700 m wide) containing the Swiss village of Dörflingen.
Administratively, Büsingen is part of Germany, forming part of the district of Konstanz, in the Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg, but economically, it forms part of the Swiss customs area, as do the independent principality of Liechtenstein and the Italian town of Campione d'Italia. There are no border controls between Switzerland and Büsingen or the rest of Germany since Switzerland joined the Schengen Area in 2008/09.
Büsingen is highly regarded as a holiday destination in summer by both German and Swiss visitors from around the area for its recreational areas along the Rhine. The town is also the home of the European Nazarene College, a relatively large and internationally-orientated Bible college.
Special regulations between Büsingen/Germany and Switzerland
According to article 31 ZK, Büsingen is not part of the customs territory of the European Union. Because Büsingen is a German town belonging to the Swiss customs territory, there are different regulations. For example, there's no tax on coffee, which would be 2.19€ per kg.
Büsingen is the only German town in which people mostly pay with Swiss francs, although the technical currency would be the Euro as all over Germany. Until the late 1980s, the Deutsche Mark was not accepted in Büsingen. Even the Büsingen post office only accepted Swiss francs for paying for German stamps. An amendment forced the Büsingen people to accept the Deutsche Mark and later the Euro. But today, Swiss francs are still more popular, since most of the inhabitants have a job in Switzerland and receive their salary in Swiss francs.
On 9 September 1957, a conference between Switzerland and Germany was held in Locarno, with the target to regulate jurisdictions of both countries in Büsingen. Seven years later, on 23 November 1964, the treaty would be signed, and another three years later, on 4 October 1967, the treaty came into effect.
According to that treaty, the cantonal police of Schaffhausen are allowed to arrest people by themselves in Büsingen area, and bring them to Switzerland. The number of Swiss policemen is limited to 10 the same time, the number of German police officers to three per 100 inhabitants. The Swiss police hold jurisdiction in sectors in which Swiss law is used. Otherwise, the German police are responsible.
German police officers are allowed to move themselves to Büsingen only along special routes, but they must refrain from all official acts while they are in Switzerland.
There is an elementary school in Büsingen which is attended by children up to fourth grade. Later, the parents have to decide whether their child should go to a Swiss or a German school.
- Junkerstrasse 86
- 8238 Büsingen am Hochrhein
- Junkerstraße 86
- 78266 Büsingen am Hochrhein
Letters from Büsingen may be franked with a Swiss or a German stamp. A standard letter from Büsingen to Switzerland needs either a Swiss stamp worth 85 Rappen or a German one worth 58 Eurocents (approximately 71 Rappen). Outside of the post office, there is a German and also a Swiss phone booth.
Similarly, residents of Büsingen can be reached by telephone using either a German number (with the prefix +49 7734) or a Swiss one (with the prefix +41 52).
For customs reasons, Büsingen has its own licence plate (BÜS), even though it's part of Constance district which has the "KN"-sign. Those special licence plates were created to simplify the job of the Swiss customs officers. Only vehicles with BÜS-licence plates are treated as Swiss vehicles.
There are very few BÜS-licence plates. The letters BÜS are mostly followed by an A. BÜS is the rarest licence plate still in use in Germany.
In 1918 after the First World War a referendum was held in Büsingen in which 96% of voters chose to become part of Switzerland. However, it never happened as Switzerland could not offer anything suitable in exchange, and consequently Büsingen has remained an exclave of Germany ever since. Later attempts were rejected by Switzerland.
The exclave of Büsingen was formally defined in 1967 through negotiations between West Germany and Switzerland. At the same time, the West German exclave of Verenahof, consisting of just three houses and fewer than a dozen people, became part of Switzerland.
- "Bevölkerung und Erwerbstätigkeit". Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg (in German). 9 October 2012.
- Statement of Treaties and International Agreements Registered Or Filed and Recorded with the Secretariat During the Month of April 2005. New York: United Nations Publications. 2005. p. 80.
- Frank Jacobs (15 May 2012). "Enclave-Hunting in Switzerland". The New York Times.
- Büsingen Official Website
- Jan S. Krogh's GeoSite on Büsingen
- Büsingen am Hochrhein (German Wikipedia)