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Canadian Enclave in France


maybe you'll be interested to know this surprising fact: there is Canadian soil surrounded by French territory in Vimy, Pas-De-Calais, Northern France. (between Arras and Lille)

It's actually the location of a WWI battle.

"The battle is commemorated by the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, set atop Hill 145 near Vimy and Givenchy in the French Pas-de-Calais. It is the largest of Canada's war monuments. The land is a Canadian National Park and was given by the people of France to the people of Canada in perpetuity in recognition of Canada's war efforts on behalf of France." (

"The battle is commemorated by the Vimy Memorial, set atop Hill 145 near Vimy and Givenchy in the French Pas-de-Calais. It is Canada's most important memorial to the fallen soldiers of World War I.

In recognition of the great sacrifices made by Canadians here, after the war the government of France formally gave Vimy Ridge to Canada. For this reason, the memorial is now cared for by Veteran Affairs Canada." (

"The land for the battlefield park, 91.18 hectares (250 acres) in extent, was (as stated on a plaque at the entrance to the Memorial) "the free gift in perpetuity of the French nation to the people of Canada". Eleven thousand tonnes of concrete and masonry were required for the base of the Memorial and 5,500 tonnes of "trau" stone were brought from Yugoslavia for the pylons and the sculptured figures. Construction of the massive work began in 1925 and 11 years later, on July 26, 1936, King Edward VIII unveiled the monument." ("

1922 article from New York Times (incredible archives they have!!!)



Re: Canadian Enclave in France

This is not an enclave/exclave but an example of extraterritorial jurisdiction or extraterritoriality. Juridically the soil is Canadian, but geographically it is French. One can say it is leased to Canada indefinitely. But one day in future France has a right to call back the lease and reclaim the land, because it is their land.