Germany has grown – by a good eight meters. The reason for this is the Rhine and an old state treaty of 1808.
Bad Säckingen – 3.57588 × 10^11 m². Does this formula look like higher mathematics to you? A little bit, perhaps. In fact, however, it describes the size of Germany in terms of area. Put simply, this makes an area of around 357,588 m² (as of October 31, 2020). However, the calculation of the area would have to be set up again. After all, Germany has only recently become larger – albeit only by a few meters.
In fact, Germany has grown by a good eight meters. At the same time, it has proven that a change in state borders can also be possible in a peaceful compromise and without any cruel armed conflicts, such as those currently taking place in Ukraine. The enlargement took place in Baden-Württemberg, more precisely in Bad Säckingen on the border with Switzerland. There, Germany has now officially grown by 8.20 meters to the south.
Germany has grown by a good eight meters: the Rhine and an old state treaty in the center
The reason for Switzerland's cession of territory? The Rhine. And a state treaty of 1808. But first things first. For 450 years, the wooden bridge in Bad Säckingen has been active as a border crossing between Germany and Switzerland. As the SWR now reports, it was renovated to fit the anniversary year - and also received a new border point.
The old border point is therefore regulated in a state treaty of 1808 between the canton of Aarau and the Grand Duchy of Baden. It was determined that the lowest point of the Rhine should be considered the border between the countries. The problem: Of course, the sediment of the river also changes again and again due to the current, which in theory meant regular new lows and thus new boundary lines. This is now a thing of the past.
The Rhine bridge in Bad Säckingen forms the border crossing between Germany and Switzerland, so to speak (archive image). © Patrick Seeger / dpa
Germany and Switzerland agree on border shift
Germany and Switzerland agreed that the middle of the river should simply serve as a new border. Previously, the boundary marker was 102 meters on the bridge in Bad Säckingen. Since the middle of the Rhine is now being measured, the boundary line on the bridge shifts. It is now around 110 meters, which you have to walk on the bridge to the border line. Since the relocation took place to the south, Germany has thus "gained" land area.
In fact, Switzerland and Germany have been working for some time on a new treaty that officially defines the middle of the Rhine as the border. The laying on the bridge has already been submitted. The Badische Zeitung suspects that this was due to the planned celebrations, including the setting of the boundary stone for the 450th anniversary of the bridge this year.
Another border region of Germany – namely the one with Austria – is currently in the spotlight. The reason for this is increased bear sightings. A bear recently fell victim to a train accident. (han)