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the Degree Confluence Project
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Lithuania

24.8 km (15.4 miles) N of Vilnius, Lithuania
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap)

Accuracy: 5 m (16 ft)
Click on any of the images for the full-sized picture.

#2: North #3: East #4: West #5: GPS Position #6: Geographinis Europos Centras #7: Children at the Center of Europe #8: Church near the Center of Europe #9: Gas station where I left the D70

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  54°54'24"N 25°19'12"E (visit #2) (special) 

#1: The Center of Europe

(visited by Fabrice Blocteur)

12-Oct-2006 -- Story starts at 37N 137E

I left the confluence N55 E25 and stopped at the nearest gas station to fill up the motorbike. The road to the Geographical Center of Europe was quite pleasant. After riding for about ten kilometers, I noticed an old church among the trees and pulled over to take a few pictures. Unfortunately my Nikon D70 wasn’t around my shoulder any more. I went back to the gas station without too much hope to see it again. Luckily for me, the camera was still waiting for me near the pump.

Several countries claim to be at the heart of Europe, but according to the research made by the French National Geographic Institute (IGN), the “real and only” geographical point is in Lithuania near the village of Purnuškės, 26 kilometers north of Vilnius. The map references of their version of the center of Europe are 54°54’N and 25°19’E. These references were defined after a re-estimation of the boundaries of the European continent: Spitsbergen as the northern point, the Canary Island as the southern point, the crest of the Ural Mountains as the eastern point and the Azores as the western point.

Taking into account the precision of these calculations, Europe’s geographical center could in fact be located at any point in Lithuania, having the form of an irregular square approximately 1100 meters north-south and 800 meters east-west. A reserve was arranged in 1992 and on May 1st 2004, the date Lithuania entered the European Union, a column of white granite was unveiled. School children had formed a circle in front of that column when I arrived and I was welcomed with a few English words.

Story continues at 54N 19E


 All pictures
#1: The Center of Europe
#2: North
#3: East
#4: West
#5: GPS Position
#6: Geographinis Europos Centras
#7: Children at the Center of Europe
#8: Church near the Center of Europe
#9: Gas station where I left the D70
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)