Enclave and Exclave


An enclave is a territory, or a part of a territory, that is entirely surrounded by the territory of one other state.

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Territorial waters have the same sovereign attributes as land, and enclaves may therefore exist within territorial waters.

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An exclave is a portion of a state or territory geographically separated from the main part by surrounding alien territory.

Geography is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of Earth.


Many exclaves are also enclaves.


Enclave is sometimes used improperly to denote a territory that is only partly surrounded by another state.


San Marino and Lesotho are examples of enclaved states.

San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino, also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino, is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy, situated on the Italian Peninsula on the northeastern side of the Apennine Mountains.

Lesotho, officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is an enclaved, landlocked country in southern Africa completely surrounded by South Africa.


Unlike an enclave, an exclave can be surrounded by several states.


The Azeri exclave of Naxçıvan is an example of an exclave.


Semi-enclaves and semi-exclaves are areas that, except for possessing an unsurrounded sea border, would otherwise be enclaves or exclaves.


Enclaves and semi-enclaves can exist as independent states, while exclaves always constitute just a part of a sovereign state.


A pene-enclave is a part of the territory of one country that can be approached conveniently — in particular by wheeled traffic — only through the territory of another country.


Pene-enclaves are also called functional enclaves or practical enclaves.


Many pene-exclaves partially border their own territorial waters.

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A pene-enclave can also exist entirely on land, such as when intervening mountains render a territory inaccessible from other parts of a country except through alien territory.


A commonly cited example is the Kleinwalsertal, a valley part of Vorarlberg, Austria, that is only accessible from Germany to the north.

Kleinwalsertal is a part of Austria, but only accessible from Germany to the north, and thus is an Austrian "practical exclave" or "pene-exclave".

Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.7 million people in Central Europe.

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe.

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