What single place has been part of most different countries?

I’ve heard elderly European residents quoted as saying things like “I’ve lived in the same house all my life, but I’ve lived in three different countries,” but what single town or village has been part of most nations in a lifetime? To make it easier, let’s say since 1900.

I’m going to take an educated guess that it’s somewhere in the vicinity of what is currently Poland.
(I get the feeling this might have been discussed on here before, but it’s a tricky one to search for.)

Not necessarily the most, but…

A person born in what’s now Brownsville, Texas in 1800 was a subject of the king of Spain.

In 1821, he was a citizen of the newly independent Mexico.

In 1836, he was a citizen of the Republic of Texas.

In 1845, he was a citizen of the USA.

In 1861, he was a citizen of the Confederate States of America (and then back to the USA a few years later).

So, he’d have been a citizen of 5 different countries without ever moving.

My grandmother lived in 3, Ukraine (as part of the Russian Empire), Germany, and Poland.

Just a WAG but since 1900, I would say SW Poland or NW Czech Republic

That area has changed hands a lot in the last 114 years.


Some damn place in the Balkans would be my guess. It depends on what your definition of country is. I would count the former Kingdom of Serbia and the current Republic of Serbia as two different countries, because there was no independent Serbian state that directly ties them. On the other hand, I am inclined to count Bulgaria (Kingdom, People’s Republic, and Republic) as a single country because there is a direct line of succession between them.

It would not surprise me if there is a point somewhere near the modern Bulgaria-Macedonia-Serbia tripoint, that has been swapped between the Ottomans, Bulgaria, Macedonia, the Kingdom of Serbia, Yugoslavia, and the Republic of Serbia.

Maybe Baghdad and vicinity, which was in a countless number of different empires of sorts before writing was even invented, and a vast number since.

How about considering name changes? Bratislava, Slovakia was Pressburg, Austria and Pozsony, Hungary in its past.

Gdansk (or Danzig) on the Polish coast has been independent, part of Germany and part of Poland since 1900, but this Wiki list (under the section ‘modern ages’ a third of the way down the page) shows it as part of seven different regimes… (inc 3 German and 3 Polish, so most people will count it as 3 in total I expect)

I have it on good authority that there have actually been SIX flags over Texas. :stuck_out_tongue:

Great question, thanks OP.

I thought this would be easy, and would have said Poland or maybe the Balkans.
But, I disregarded the open ended possibility of the question. Unfortunately, since we have

as a qualifier, then we are restricted to modern countries. Otherwise, somewhere in Egypt or Mesopotamia would be the probable ‘winner’.

But, regardless, the answer is still Mary Ann. :wink:

Right, because France held claim to a small part of Texas at one time. I was just trying to show how many changes occurred during one (hypohetical) man’s lifetime.

What counts as being “part of”? Was Poland part of Germany after the Nazis invaded?

It would depend on whether Poland was formally annexed by Germany. I believe the Sudetenlands in Czechoslovakia were annexed by Germany early in WW2.

So, I’m the first smart-alec to nominate the center of the Earth?

Alsace has switched hands many times, but really back and forth between France and Germany/Prussia.

Most if not all of Texas was part of the Second Mexican Empire, which was a Mexican country propped up by the Second French Empire and ruled by an Austrian Emperor. So I have no idea what you’d count that for, or if Brownsville was a part (I doubt it?). The First Empire was even less ambiguously the same as Mexican republics.

I pasted modern Poland on a map of WWII Europe, and if I’m not mistaken, Poland was completely in the borders of Nazi Germany. Keep in mind that places like France were occupied but not Germany under most definition. This includes Alsace, above.

No, it’s always been Crab People, they just switch costumes from time to time.

I can only go from my grandmother’s stories, which don’t always make sense. Where she lived (and I’m not sure of the exact location) she said she was a German citizen when the Germans invaded Russia (including the Ukraine) in WWI, not II. When it was over it became part of Poland. She survived then when others didn’t because the family spoke German and she went to work for a German military doctor. I’ve spoken to people from the general region and they it’s sometimes unclear where and when the borders changed, at least to anyone who hadn’t studied the subject in depth. She definitely started out in the Russian Empire, we have her school diploma signed by a Minister of Czar Nicholas, and when she came to the US she was a Polish citizen. Sorry, that’s all I know about it.

There is Alsace - it changed hand between Germany and France about 4 times.

Tyrolhas also changed hands a few times.

The Punjab region. In the last 200 years, the Mughals, the Persians, the. Afghans, the Sikhs, the British and now Pakistan/India. Before that, you had Tamerlane, the mongols, the Arabs, about 5 different dynasties of Persians, Greeks, Sakaa, Kushans etc.

I’d suggest parts of the West Bank and Gaza. Hebron, for instance, has spent the 20th Century under Turkish, British, Jordanian, Israeli and Palestinian rule.

My knowledge of Asian history isn’t particularly strong, but I’m sure that there are parts of northeastern China that started out in Imperial China, and then were flipped around between Chinese, Japanese and Russian control. There are probably a couple of islands that have been swapped in and out of Korea, as well.

Uzhhorod started out as part of Austria-Hungary, then became part of Czechoslovakia after WW1. In 1938, it became part of Hungary. In 1945 it became part of the USSR. In 1991, part of Ukraine. Five flag changes.

Possibly a decent 20th century contender, anyways…