In search of the bordermarkers of Moresnet

Moresnet was a tiny neutral state that existed from 1815 until 1919. This triangle-shaped mini-state was connected at one point to the current BEDENL-tripoint and was some 3 km2 large. In fall 2001 and spring 2002 we made three trips in search for the remaining bordermarkers.

Moresnet-overzichtThe only reason of existence of Moresnet was the local zinc mine, desired by both the Netherlands and Prussia after the fall of Napoleon.Declaring it neutral was a compromise and was laid down in the Aachen border agreement. Allmost everything about Neutraal-Moresnet can be found on the nice website of Cees Damen.

In 1818 the first (wooden) bordermarkers were placed. In its numbering it continued the row which already existed along the German border starting in Luxembourg. Bordermarker 188 was placed in the southwest corner, bordermarker 193 on the present BEDENL-tripoint. Along the eastern border an identical row was placed with the same numbers. The border situation changed when Belgium left the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1830. In 1869-1870 the vulnerable wooden bordermarkers were replaced by 60 stone markers. The numbering was done in roman ciphers: bordermarkers I-XXX along the western border, bordermarkers XXXI-LX along the eastern border. The northern point remained bordermarker 193. The roman numbering on the markers is however unusually: 4 becomes IIII and not IV, 9 becomes VIIII and 40 becomes XXXX.

How many bordermarkers have survived the years? One Alfred Jansen found 53 bordermarkers present around 1990. We succeeded in finding 54 bordermarkers, some only through the directions of Kees Vroonhof and Rob Vaessens. Not found were the markers 16, 20, 52, 54, 55 and 56.

All pictures on these pages were taken by Jannis Deeleman. He has his own extensive website about the bordermarkers around the BEDENL-tripoint.

On the next pages the bordermarkers we found:

grenspalen 1-15
grenspalen 16-30
grenspalen 31-45
grenspalen 46-60

The 3 moresnetiers: from left to right Eef, Jannis, Wil

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