The neighbourhood

De Steppe belongs to the church village of Ulicoten and is part of the "Baarle-Nassau" municipality. Baarle-Nassau and Baarle-Hertog together form the community of "Baarle", famous for its enclaves and, as a result, very popular among tourists. Every inhabitant has its own nationality and is faced daily with the differences between the Netherlands and Belgium, such as, language, public services, rules and regulations. How strange this may seem, people and their habits change as soon as you cross the border. In the enclave village of "Baarle", you have to do nothing more than take a walk through through the village to experience this yourself.

Due to this particular situation Baarle is an extremely sociable village, always visited by tourists in the holiday season and on Sundays; the feeling of a borough. Especially these times there is always something to do or see, and the (heated) terraces and restaurants do good business.

If you want a some rest, then you can leave our park by the rear exit at the creek, and you surround yoursel between the vast lands, forrests and fields. You walk on sand paths to enjoy the rest and space. If you might encounter someone, it is a gone astray walker, horseback rider or a farmer with motor tractor.

Close to de Steppe you find fishing pond "the Goordonk" with a recreational forrest and running track. The other forrests in Baarle are the "Ulicootsche heath land", "the Bollekes", "'t Merkske", "the Castelreesche heath land", and the forrests around the counrty border. In the neighbouring villages "the boswachterij of Ulvenhout" and Chaam, the "Turnhoutse heath land", "Egelbroek" and "Ooievaarsnestnest". National park "the Biesbosch" and "the Drunense dunes" are within a half hour drive.

For many of our visitors, rest must be combined with action and adventure. Within a range of 30km (19 miles) there are modern theme parks such as "the Efteling", safari park "the Beekse bergen", "Bobbejaanland" or "Lolland" for the youngest children. Or how about a tilt-cart ride through the neighbourhood? Or a game of paintball, or mountain biking in the forrest? There are also several roller skating routes.

The calmth of the farmer's lands makes bicycling a relaxing experience. Nicely flat lands covered with trees. All the cycling and hiking routes are available at the Steppe.

In Baarle we also have museums and art galleries. There is "the kaarskesmuseum" (candles) of Frits Spies, several small museums that can be visited by appointment, and galery "the Imagination". In the surroundings there in abundance possibilities for museum visit are.

Enclaves
Between the border post 214 and 215, the Netherlands and Belgium are interwoven strongly. This is the case with the Dutch municipality of Baarle-Nassau and the Belgian municipality of "Baarle-Hertog". In the middle of Baarle-Nassau there are 22 small pieces of Belgian land, the "enclaves". In this municipality there are also 8 Dutch lands surrounded by Belgian territory, the so-called exclaves.

This phenomenon, that exists over a 1,000 years, is situated 5 kilometres from the Southern country border in between the Netherlands and Belgium. In this enclave area, you will almost always be the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant and in the Belgian province of Antwerp at the same time.

The several 'shared' streets carry the same name on both the "Nassau" and "Hertog" territory. Belgian and Dutch people live in the same streets. Houses are distinguished only by the sometimes irregular order of the house numbers, on which the colours of their own national flag are painted.

The complicated enclaves-situation in Baarle is unique in the world, and is characteristic for the neighbourhood. It is said that Baarle is the largest jigsaw puzzle in the world! The local tourist office can provide you with more information.

Baarle-Nassau is the Dutch municipality with over 6,000 inhabitants. Besides the core (Baarle-Nassau), the municipality exists from the villages of Ulicoten and Castelré. Baarle-Hertog is the Belgian municipality with over 2,100 inhabitants. Besides the different pieces of Belgian land in the Netherlands, Baarle-Hertog exists from the village of Zondereigen, that is situated over the country border in Belgium. The whole area covered by the two municipalities is 8,384 hectares in size, of which 8 hectares belong to to the steppe. The municipalities themselves are from 20 kilometres (13 miles) distance from Breda and Tilburg and on 10 kilometres (6½ miles) from Turnhout.