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Büsingen am Hochrhein is a German town with a lot of Swiss character. That’s because this small town on the Rhine is entirely surrounded by Switzerland. That makes Büsingen an enclave, and like many territorial enclaves, Büsingen has absorbed the many forms and conventions of its host nation—perhaps a little more willingly.

Residents of Büsingen speak Swiss and prefer to use Swiss francs instead of Euro. In fact, until the late 1980s, Büsingen didn’t even accept the Deutsche Mark. Even the Büsingen post office accepted only Swiss francs for payment of German stamps. Although kids go to a local German school, many high school students end up studying on the other side of the border. Most Büsingen residents work for Switzerland in nearby Swiss towns and get paid in Swiss francs, which explains the town’s preference for their neighbor’s currency. Even their electricity comes from Switzerland. Yet, they pay German income taxes, because technically they are still German citizens.

Büsingen am Hochrhein

Büsingen am Hochrhein on the Upper Rhine. Photo: donald.kaden/Flickr


© Amusing Planet, 2020.


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