Today it might be difficult to imagine how hard it once was to cross borders in Europe. It has now been more than 32 years since the Schengen Agreement was signed and we can travel freely in Europe. It feels unreal that there were guards and border controls. One of the most (in)famous borders was the Iron Curtain. It curtailed the lives of many, making it almost impossible to cross between Western and Eastern Europe. This line through Europe concerned many countries, including Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia (then a part of Czechoslovakia). There is one point where the borders of all three countries meet. Such a point is called a tripoint and there are only around 170 similar points in the world.
The Austria-Hungary-Slovakia Tripoint
A pillar marks the tripoint of the Austrian, Hungarian, and Slovak borders. It bears the letters of each country marking its sides. At the location, you also find sculptures memorating the time of the Iron Curtain, with parts of the barbed wire and border signs still in place.
The border between these three countries has witnessed a lot of history. At one time in history, all three countries were a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Like the border in Devín, more recent history has been more dramatic. Firstly, the fall of the Soviet Union made it possible for normal people to cross these borders – for the first time in decades. The second big change was the entry of Hungary and Slovakia into the European Union in 2004. Since then all three countries have been members of the Schengen Area. Because of this, you can walk across these borders without any border control agents asking to see your passport. How many tripoints around the world has the possibility to walk around the point itself?
How many tripoints around the world has the possibility to walk around the point itself?
The tripoint is near the Slovak village of Čunovo, as well as the Hungarian village of Rajka and the Austrian village of Deutsch Jahrndorf. Located around 20 kilometers south of the center of Bratislava, the tripoint is easiest accessed with a bike or car. Another option is to take the local buses to the village of Rajka, from where the tripoint is just a short walk away.