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the Degree Confluence Project
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Austria

1.9 km (1.2 miles) N of Josefsthal, Niederösterreich, Austria
Approx. altitude: 492 m (1614 ft)
([?] maps: Google MapQuest Multimap world confnav)
Antipode: 49°S 165°W

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

#2: View east #3: View south #4: View west #5: GPS 1 #6: GPS 2 #7: Meridian monument #8: Meridian monument (closeup of the inscription) #9: Position of meridian monument: left WGS 84, right: ED1950 #10: Standing exactly on the border (left: Austria, right: Czech Republic)

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  49°N 15°E (visit #12)  

#1: View north

(visited by Florian Schindler)

05-Sep-2011 -- I was on a journey to visit the Confluence Points along my home latitude 49° north. I managed to go as far as 49°N 022°E and visited all points in Slovakia and Czech Republic.

This morning I visited 49°N 016°E and drove through the beautiful Czech landscape to Nová Bystrice. My car navigation system wanted to route me as close as possible to the Confluence Point and thus it told me to drive on secondary and forest roads to the west side of the lake Stankau. But the Confluence Point is east of it in Austrian territory and I was not in the mood to swim across the lake. Thus I ignored the instruction of the navigation system, crossed the border to Austria, and drove through the villages of Haugschlag and Rottal.

There a so called "Güterweg" (literally: "way for goods") began. Although I live in southern Germany and I am familiar with many Austrian expressions this was a new expression for me. Later I learned that these ways are usually private built roads to transport goods. In this case it was presumably built to carry wood out of the forest.

I simply followed the road until my GPS receiver showed the minimum distance to the Confluence Point and parked my car in a broad entrance to a blocked forest road at a distance of 1.4 kilometres.

My hike on the forest road went downhill. This was a new experience for me: to reach all Confluence Points on this journey I needed to ascend. At the end of the road another road crosses perpendicular and I followed this road until I saw a footpath and a signpost with the word "Meridianstein" (meridian monument). I followed it and half an hour after my departure I reached the Confluence Point. My Confluence dance took quite a while due to the thick canopy of spruce trees. It was a pleasant ambiance: sun, blue skies and birds were singing.

I was delighted that I successfully visited all Confluence Points on this journey along the 49th parallel starting at 022°E. During other trips I successfully visited (or was in very close vicinity) all of the 49er Confluence Points up to 49°N 001°W in France (not all visits are documented here yet). I recalled all of them while standing on this point.

Certainly I wanted to visit the monument and followed the path. The distance from the monument to the actual CP is 100 metres. All Confluence monuments I saw (except 50°N 006°E) were far off the real Confluence Point (according WGS84). At all of them I also switched the map datum to European Datum 1950 and German (Potsdam) Datum to see if the surveyors used another geodetic datum. None of the other Confluence monuments were built on these geodetic datums either.

The European Datum 1950 matched here quite well. Because the inscription says that the Federal Institute for Survey supported erecting the monument I assumed that the local Austrian map datum (MGI - "Militärgeographisches Institut") is used. My old GPS receiver does not offer this and the modern GPS mouse offers a choice of more than 200 (such exotic ones like "Deception Island", but no MGI), but only with three letter abbreviations. Nevertheless you can try to convert the WGS84 reading off-line and double check my assumption.

On the way back I went to the banks of the lake and entered Czech territory. Just for fun I stood exactly on the cairn with my left leg in Austria and the right leg in the Czech Republic. I hiked back to the car and enjoyed on my way some wild raspberries.

Not in a hurry any more I decided to drive home, as close as possible along the 49th parallel. I re-entered the Czech Republic, the blue skies vanished and it began to rain. Perfect timing!

I passed the Confluence Point 49°N 014°E within a couple of kilometres and wondered if I should revisit it. Torrential rain made the decision very easy: skip! But instead a revisit of 49°N 013°E came into my mind.


 All pictures
#1: View north
#2: View east
#3: View south
#4: View west
#5: GPS 1
#6: GPS 2
#7: Meridian monument
#8: Meridian monument (closeup of the inscription)
#9: Position of meridian monument: left WGS 84, right: ED1950
#10: Standing exactly on the border (left: Austria, right: Czech Republic)
ALL: All pictures on one page (broadband access recommended)