Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Journey to the Center of Europe!

Journey to the Center of Europe!

Photo Credits: http://www.anywalls.com

Hmm! ... Where is it?

Europe is part of the world that together with Asia forms the continent Eurasia. Usually Europe is divided into South and North, Western and Eastern, and also Central because of not only a number of geographical but also political factors. There are more than 40 independent countries in Europe. 

By the way, where is the center of Europe? Almost everyone has asked this question some times without finding the answer to it. As for the question about the location of the center of Europe then it remains rather controversial. It turns out that the center of Europe which has to be the only one wanders the map. Disputes about the location of the center of Europe arise because of Europe has got ambiguous inexact borders.  

Nowadays some European countries confirm that the center of Europe is located on the territory of their country. In this list you can find such countries as Slovakia, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Russia. Recently Belarus has been also included into this list. Belarus has got quite serious scientific calculations that can be easily checked.

The center of Europe is situated in Belarus! Is it?

The Centre of Europe in Polotsk
Photo Credits: http://www.respublika.info
At the beginning of the 2000s Belarusian scientists conducted their own research and made their own calculations and measurements. First they created the closed loop of the border of Europe including into its territory the basins of the White, the Baltic, and the Black Seas and also adding the territories of Great Britain, Ireland, Spitsbergen, Novaya Zemlya, all of them were taken like objects of the mainland area. The largest islands on the south of Europe such as Corsica, Sardinia, and Crete were also included into the calculations. The Eastern border of Europe going through the Ural Mountains was added too. As a result, according to the calculations of Belarusian scientists it turned out that the center of Europe was 50 kms south-west of the town of Polotsk, in the waters of Lake Sho. But some years later based on new more exact specified calculations they stated that the center of Europe is located directly in the town of Polotsk, in Vitebsk region (55°30'0"N 28°48'0"E). The research was conducted with the help of modern computer programs by Belarusian scientists Alexsei Solomonov, Valeriy Anoshko under the guidance of Boris Furman. Scientists from Russian Central Research Institute of Geodesy, Aerial Survey and Cartography confirmed the calculations of the Belarusian scientists about the location of the center of Europe that it is in Polotsk , Vitebsk region, Belarus. These calculations have also got the international recognition.

In 2008 the monument "Center of Europe" was erected in Polotsk, created by architect Ivan Borovik and sculptor Alexander Prohorov. Nowadays everyone can stand in the center of Europe, take photos and then get acquainted with the sights of the oldest town in Belarus, Polotsk that was founded in the middle of the 11th century, in 862.

Geographical Center of Europe
The Centre of Europe in PolotskAt the base of the monument "Center of Europe" looks like a compass rose. At the next level there is the Northern Hemisphere of Earth where the map of Europe is unfolded which center was found out. The arced meridians are decorated with the symbol of Polotsk - a three-masted ship. As in ancient times the main trade route "From the Vikings to the Greeks", from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea passed through Polotsk. The inscription "Geographical Center of Europe" on the monument is translated into 5 languages: Swedish, Russian, Greek, English, and Belarusian. Besides it, there are special tablets showing the coordinates of extreme points of Europe and its center.

The Centre of Europe in Polotsk

The Centre of Europe in Polotsk

The Centre of Europe in Polotsk

The Centre of Europe in Polotsk
Polotsk attracts lots of tourists first of all because it is the most ancient Belarusian town with rich cultural and historical heritage, and then already because it is the center of Europe. Citizens of Polotsk always welcome guests and each tourist who will visit this town can get a certificate of being in the center of Europe. However, we'll tell you about the oldest town of Belarus - Polotsk in detail in our next Blogger lenses!

Polotsk is the most ancient town in Belarus, 862
Sofia Cathedral in Polotsk - Belarus 

Polotsk is the center of Europe 

Polotsk - BelarusThe other centers of Europe!
Many of each asserting its primacy... 

Ukraine - Centre of Europe
Photo Credits: http://www.ukrtour.org
The geographical center in Ukraine

It is considered that the more ancient center of Europe is in Ukraine that was discovered in the 19th century. It is known that in 1885-1887 in Transcarpathia that belonged to Austria-Hungary, they were exploring the area in order to build a railroad there. During the examination engineers found out that there had to be the geographical center of Europe. After that Austrian and Hungarian geographers made their own calculations and measurements. And since that time in Ukraine, close to the village Delovoe, on the bank of Tisa river there has been the post with the following inscription: "This is a permanent, precise, eternal place discovered with a special machine, that had been made in Austria-Hungary, in the European system of latitudes and longitudes, in 1887"

Slovakia - Centre of Europe
 Photo Credits: http://www.liveinternet.ru/
The geographical center in Slovakia

Some sources say that the geographical center of Europe is in Slovakia, close to the mining town of Kremnica, in the village Kragule. It is located near St. John Baptist Church. You can read about it on a big boulder that is situated in front of the Church. They say that the method used for calculations and measurements is unbeknown.  

Lithuania - Centre of Europe
Photo Credits: http://www.prensa1.com
The geographical center in Lithuania

In 1989 French National Geographic Institute found out a new location of the geographical center of Europe. According to it, the center was located in Lithuania, 26 kms north of Vilnius. Scientists made their calculations with help of the mathematical method of determination of the gravity center of the flat geometrical figure. The Lithuanian center of Europe was widely accepted and also was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. The 1st Lithuanian geographical center of Europe monument that was erected in 1991 has been reserved. However, in 2004 there was an organized solemn opening ceremony of the 2nd monument to the geographical center in Lithuania, that was also dedicated to the entry of Lithuania the European Union. 

Some other countries state that the geographical center of Europe is situated in their countries. Except mentioned above countries, Russia, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic have been also included in this list. How can it be if the geographical center of Europe is to be the only one? The only possible answer to this question could be that scientists haven't still given the exact geographical coordinates of Europe.

So, why is the continent Europe called Europe?

Photo Credits: http://www.lafibau.ucoz.ru
The history of the names of each of the continents is very interesting. The origin of some of them is connected with ancient Greek myths. According to one of these myths, in the same place where now there is Lebanon state, in ancient times there was Phoenicia there. And god Zeus fell in love madly with a beautiful earth woman, whose name was Europe.

Beauty Europe was a daughter of Agenor, a Phoenician king. Zeus wanted her to be his wife, but Europe's father would never have allowed it. That's why Thunderer Zeus decided to abduct Europe. Having turned into a white ox, Zeus stole the daughter of the Phoenician king and brought her to the island Crete. There somewhere Europe set foot on the land of another continent for the first time, which later was named after her - "Europe".

Some historians think that the word "Europe" meant "sunset" in Phoenician. Other historians think that the name "Europe" means "wide-eyed", and in ancient times this adjective was used as an epithet for the Moon, as it was highly worshiped in ancient Phoenicia.

At the Polls!
What do you think is the geographical center of Europe in reality?
In Belarus
In Slovakia
In Ukraine
In Lithuania
In Russia
In Poland
In Latvia
In Czech Republic
I don't think it exists!
free poll maker

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