Kilometre zero

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For other uses, see Kilometer zero (disambiguation).

In many countries, Kilometre Zero (also written km 0) or similar terms in other languages (also known as Zero mile marker, control stations or control points) is a particular location (often in the nation's capital city), from which distances are traditionally measured. They were markers where drivers could set their odometers to follow directions in early guide books.[1]

A similar notion also exists for individual roads (that is, all locations on the road have a number, depending on their distance from that location), and for individual cities (often the city's central post office is used for this).

The most famous such marker of which any part survives from ancient times is the Milliarium Aureum ("Golden Milestone") of the Roman Empire, believed to be the literal origin for the maxim that "all roads lead to Rome".

Countries[edit]

Argentina[edit]

Kilometre Zero, Buenos Aires

Argentina marks Kilometre Zero with a monolith in Plaza Congreso in Buenos Aires. The work of the brothers Máximo and José Fioravanti, the structure was placed on the north side of Plaza Lorea on October 2, 1935; it was moved to its present location on May 18, 1944. An image of Our Lady of Luján (honored on the monolith as "the patron saint of the national road network") appears on the monolith's north face, a relief map of Argentina is on the south face, plaques in honor of José de San Martín are west, and on its eastern side, the date of the decree and the name of the relevant authorities.

Australia[edit]

Highways in Australia are usually built and maintained by the states and territories. In the state of New South Wales, highway distances (mileages) were traditionally measured from a sandstone obelisk in Macquarie Place in Sydney designed by Francis Greenway in 1818.[2] The obelisk lists the distances to various locations in New South Wales at the time.[3] For the railway, it is located at platform 1 of Sydney Central Station.

Canada[edit]

The Mile 0 point for the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek

Origin point of the TransCanada Highway in Victoria, British Columbia, on the southern end of Vancouver Island. Also the Mile 0 point for the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek.

Chile[edit]

Kilometre Zero at Plaza de Armas in Santiago, Chile.

All national distances from Santiago originate at the Km. 0 plaque, located at the Plaza de Armas main square in downtown Santiago. 33°26′16″S 70°39′02″W / 33.437807°S 70.650523°W / -33.437807; -70.650523

Chile's Autopista Central - Eje Norte-Sur (the eastern portion of the Panamerican Highway that passes through Santiago) has its Kilometre Zero at the intersection with the Alameda del Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins, the capital's main avenue. 33°26′46″S 70°39′39″W / 33.4462°S 70.660704°W / -33.4462; -70.660704

China[edit]

China Railways' 0 km is located at the entrance to the Fengtai Yard on the Jingguang Line just outside of Beijing. This point was historically the start of the line; the marker is a simple concrete marker, with "0" painted on it. There is no ceremonial plaque.

The kilometre zero point for highways is located at Tiananmen Square, just outside the Zhengyangmen Gate. It is marked with a plaque in the ground, with the four cardinal points, four animals, and "Zero Point of Highways, China" in English and Chinese.

Cuba[edit]

Cuba's Kilometre Zero is located in its capital Havana in El Capitolio. Embedded in the floor in the centre of the main hall is a replica 25 carat (5 g) diamond, which marks Kilometre Zero for Cuba. The original diamond, said to have belonged to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and have been sold to the Cuban state by a Turkish merchant, was stolen on 25 March 1946 and mysteriously returned to the President, Ramón Grau San Martín, on 2 June 1946. It was replaced in El Capitolio by a replica in 1973.

Dominican Republic[edit]

DR-1, DR-2, and DR-3 all depart from Kilometre Zero from Santo Domingo's Parque de Independencia.

Ethiopia[edit]

Kilometre Zero in Ethiopia is in Menelik Square, Addis Abeba, in front of St. George's Cathedral; it is the point from which all Ethiopian highway distances are measured. The point was designated by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1930.

France[edit]

Kilometre Zero of the French highways

Kilometre Zero of French national highways, located in Paris on the square facing the main entrance of Notre Dame cathedral, and considered the official centre of the city of Paris. 48°51′12″N 2°20′56″E / 48.8534°N 2.3488°E / 48.8534; 2.3488

Germany (Prussia)[edit]

Reconstructed Prussian milestone in Berlin

Initially the origin point of all prussian roads leading to and from Berlin was at Dönhoff-Platz in the city centre (1730 - 1875); in 1975 a reconstructed milestone was placed in front of the Spittel-Kolonnaden at Marion-Gräfin-Dönhoff-Platz. 52°30′39″N 13°23′56″E / 52.510788°N 13.398964°E / 52.510788; 13.398964

Hungary[edit]

The Zero Kilometre in Budapest is marked by a monument, forming the number "zero". The starting point was initially reckoned from the threshold of the Buda Royal Palace, but it was taken down to the Széchenyi Chain Bridge when it was built in 1849.

The city of Kecskemét also has a Zero Kilometre Stone on Kossuth Square.

India[edit]

Zero Mile Stone Marathi: शून्य मैलाचा दगड is a monument locating the geographical center of India in the city of Nagpur, Maharashtra.The Zero Mile Stone was erected by the British who used this point to measure all the distances. The Zero Mile Stone consists of four horses and a pillar made up of sandstone.ভারতের শূন্য বিন্দু

Indonesia[edit]

Kilometre zero of Indonesia is marked by the monument located in Weh Island, the northernmost and westernmost point of Indonesia.[4][5][6]

Israel[edit]

Jerusalem - the zero mile of Israel in the Jaffa Gate plaza

By the Roman times and Byzantion (Byzantic province), and after that stood a Roman triumph in the plaza of Damascus Gate in the Old city of Jerusalem that measure the kilometers to other cities - he showing in the Madaba Map. the triumph was demolished after the Roman times. the Arabs called the Damascus Gate by the name: "The gate of the triumph".

Starting from the 20th century, mile zero of Jerusalem is in the plaza outside to develop in the wall near the Jaffa Gate. Opening in the wall was made in 1898 in honor of the German Emperor Wilhelm II.

Italy[edit]

The Italian Kilometre Zero is located on the top of the Capitoline Hill, in Rome.

Japan[edit]

The Kilometre Zero of Japan (日本国道路元標 Nipponkoku Dōro Genpyō?) is on the middle of Nihonbashi bridge in Tokyo. Tokyo Station is considered the originating point of the national railway network and has several posts and monuments indicating 0 km of lines originating from the station.

Madagascar[edit]

The Kilometre Zero for the major roads radiating from Antananarivo is located on the square in front of the Soarano Railway Station.

Malaysia[edit]

Malaysia's Kilometre Zero at Johor Bahru

The Kilometre Zero for roads and highways in Peninsular Malaysia is located at Johor Bahru General Post Office.[7] It is one of the rare cases where the national kilometre zero is not located at the national capital, due to the fact that the distance of all three major backbone routes (Federal Routes 1, 3 and 5) are calculated from Johor Bahru, as Johor Bahru is the major entry point to Malaysia from Singapore.

Mexico[edit]

The Kilometre Zero is located in Mexico City, next to the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral.

Norway[edit]

The Kilometre Zero is located in Oslo at the address Observatoriegaten 1.

Panama[edit]

The Panamanian Kilometre Zero is located at the Martin Sosa Bridge on the Simon Bolivar Avenue (Transisthmian Highway) in Panama City.

Philippines[edit]

The Kilometre zero of the Philippines, in Luneta Park, Manila

The marble marker designated as KM 0 fronting the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park is Kilometer Zero for road distances on the island of Luzon and the rest of the Philippines.

Poland[edit]

Warsaw.

Warsaw, the capital of Poland, has a meeting point featuring plaques with distances from it to other major cities of the country. It is placed on the intersection of the city's two main avenues, Aleje Jerozolimskie and Marszałkowska Street, next to the Centrum Warsaw Metro station.

Romania[edit]

The Kilometre Zero of Romania is marked by a monument located in front of Saint George's Church in central Bucharest.

Russia[edit]

Russia's Kilometre Zero.

The bronze plaque marking Russia's Kilometre Zero is located in Moscow, just in front of the Iberian Chapel, in a short passage connecting Red Square with Manege Square and flanked by the State Historical Museum and the City Duma.

Slovakia[edit]

Slovakia has its Kilometre Zero in Bratislava under Michael's Gate in the Michalská veža (St. Michael's tower).

South Korea[edit]

Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, has its 'Doro Wonpyo' (Korean: 도로원표) in the centre of Gwanghwamun Intersection to measure all distance of both national and regional roads. The initial statue, made by Seoul Metropolitan City to commemorate in 1997, is located in front of Donghwa Duty-free shop building (near Gwanghwamun Station), 151 m far from its exact point.

Spain[edit]

Madrid's renewed Kilometre Zero.

Spain has its Kilometre Zero in the centre of the Puerta del Sol in Madrid (incidentally, the clock of the old Royal House of the Post Office, in front of which the plaque is located, marks the official time in Spain, according to the urban legend). The plaque that marks this point was turned around 180 degrees by mistake in 2002 during a reform of the square. The plaque was renewed in 2009, during the roadworks of the Puerta del Sol square, and this time placed in the right position.

Sri Lanka[edit]

In Sri Lanka, all distances from Colombo is measured from (formally in miles) the President's House. This practice began with the construction of the Colombo-Kandy road in 1830, which was the first modern highway in the island, since then most of the highways originates from Colombo.

Switzerland[edit]

Switzerland's Kilometer Null is located in Olten. It was made in the 19th century to mark the point from where the Swiss railway system was measured. Because of the dimension of the Swiss railway system, it is no longer used.

Taiwan[edit]

Road sign of the kilometer zero in Taiwan

The crossroad of Zhongxiao Road and Zhongshan Road (Taipei) in Zhongzheng District, Taipei is the start point of provincial highway No. 1, 1A (Traditional Chinese: 臺1甲), 3, 5 and 9. In 2012, by Directorate General of Highways, MOTC, a traffic sign and a sidewalk carve of kilometre zero of provincial highway are placed by the northeast side and by southeast side of the intersection separately.[8]25°2′44.5″N 121°31′10.7″E / 25.045694°N 121.519639°E / 25.045694; 121.519639

Thailand[edit]

A kilometre zero milestone in northern Thailand.

Thailand has two points that are declared as Kilometre Zero. The National Highway's Kilometre Zero is the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, and the Railway's Kilometre Zero is the Erawan Elephant Monument, in front of Bangkok Railway Station.

United Kingdom[edit]

The term 'Kilometre Zero' is not used in the United Kingdom. Most distances from London are measured in miles from Charing Cross. See also, London Stone, Hicks Hall, and St Mary-le-Bow, a church from which the distance of the original London to Lewes road is measured.

Distances to/from Edinburgh are measured to the former GPO building in Prince's Street. Similarly, building numbers in Edinburgh start at the end of the street nearest to the former GPO building.

United States[edit]

Kilometre zero of US

The metric system is not the common system in the United States, but mile markers for most major roads begin at either their western or southern terminus. Most such markers reset when crossing state lines.

Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the original architect of Washington, D.C., proposed an otherwise unnamed reference marker in the form of a pole to be located one mile east of the Capitol that was never built. Although not used for measurement on United States roads (outside of the city itself), the Zero Milestone near the White House was proposed in 1919 and a permanent marker placed in 1923 by the federal government, funded by the Good Roads Movement.

Columna de la Paz in Montevideo.

Uruguay[edit]

Uruguay has a "Kilómetro Cero" for the national routes at the La Paz Pillar, located in Plaza de Cagancha of the city of Montevideo.[9]

Also, a "Kilómetro Cero" has been established for the Uruguay River by the Treaty of Río Uruguay in 1961 on the parallel passing by the area called Punta Gorda in the Colonia Department, south of the city of Nueva Palmira.

Media[edit]

Kilometer Zero is also the name of a literary journal once published from the famous book shop Shakespeare and Company.

The 2000 film Km. 0 was a romantic comedy set in Madrid.

Images[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic and Cultural Resources" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-04-22. [dead link]
  2. ^ City of Sydney (2008-07-30). "History in the making for Macquarie Place Obelisk". Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  3. ^ Heritage Branch (Government of New South Wales). "State Heritage Register: Macquarie Place Precinct (Draft)". Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  4. ^ "Menjejakkan Kaki di Tugu Nol Kilometer Sabang" (in Indonesia). Kompas. 11 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Weh Island: Diving the Untouched Edge". "Sabang is the capital city of Weh Island. Why not explore the town as well? You might want to take a picture of a sign bearing "Indonesia Nol Kilometer" (Zero Kilometer of Indonesia)." 
  6. ^ "Sabang: Indonesia at KM 0". The Jakarta Post. January 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Peninsular Malaysian Kilometre Zero". Blog Jalan Raya Malaysia. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Cai Weiqi (蔡偉祺) and Cai Wenju (蔡文居) (2012-10-07). "台灣公路原點 就在監察院前人行道" (in Chinese). The Liberty Times. 
  9. ^ "Kilómetro cero en Plaza Cagancha". Junta Departamental de Montevideo. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 21 July 2011.