The area where Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands meet Border art
Fancy a barbecue somewhere between Spain and the Netherlands, or a quick sunbathe between France and Belgium? Or fancy circumnavigating Europe in an inflatable dinghy?
In the heart of Europe
- it is one hour to Brussels
- it is three hours to Paris
- it is four hours to London
- and one step to the Netherlands and Belgium
Nowhere is this easier than beneath the flags of the nations on Europaplatz square, where the motorway ends. Maybe it was this cosmopolitan flair that so attracted the “flash mob” that brought the square to a standstill with its bicycles one day. Indeed, anyone returning from a trip and seeing the big fountain surrounded by all the European flags is left in no doubt: “I live in Aachen, and my home is Europe”.
But even for real-life globetrotters, there are no borders near Aachen – none that you’d notice anyway. Unlike former times, crossing the border’s a breeze. One place has already attained cult status is the Köpfchen frontier post – now home to artistic events and cross-border culture in the truest sense of the word. Today, there are no barriers between you and a quick frikandelle spezial meatball delight in the Dutch city of Maastricht, a new desk lamp from the car boot sale in the Belgian town of Tongeren or a mercy dash to the supermarket just over the border in Vaals on a German public holiday. Ever been in three countries all at once? The Dreiländerpunkt, where the three borders meet, is a great place to practise doing “the splits”, standing in three countries at one time, and still able to enjoy the view!
And as an adventuresome day draws to a perfect close in a cosy pub somewhere on Pontstrasse, you can only sit back with a smile and agree: “Aachen is Europe at its finest”.
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