As anyone who follows this blog knows, we’re weirdly enthralled with all things cartographic in Europe. Plus, we have a comparable passion for Old Town Alexandria – the undisputed best small town in America – which includes our fair city’s retrocession from the District of Columbia in the 19th century. A local cartographic legacy that is still represented by extant boundary stones in Virginia delineating the original borders of the District.
Imagine our nerdy elation upon reading a news article in today’s New York Times that involves both!
Regarding boundary stones, recall this image from our Alexandria, DC, post celebrating the anniversary of our fair city’s retrocession:
Now, compare that image with this one of the 1819 boundary stone on the Franco-Belgian border from this morning’s article:
You can read the full New York Times article here, but the essence is captured by this paragraph:
“Apparently frustrated by a 200-year-old stone border marker, a Belgian farmer dug it out and moved it about seven feet into French territory, local officials told French news media, thus slightly enlarging his own land as well as the entire country of Belgium.”