Geographical midpoint of Europe

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Monument in Suchowola, Poland
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The location of the geographical centre of Europe depends on the definition of the borders of Europe, mainly whether remote islands are included to define the extreme points of Europe, and on the method of calculating the final result. Thus, several places claim to host this hypothetical centre.

The first official declaration of the Centre of Europe was made in 1775 by the Polish royal astronomer and cartographer Szymon Antoni Sobiekrajski, who calculated it to be in the town of Suchowola[1] near Białystok in modern north-eastern Poland. The method used was that of calculating equal distances from the extreme points of Europe: the westernmost point in Portugal; the easternmost point in the Central Urals; the northernmost point in Norway; and the southernmost point in Greece (islands were not taken into consideration). There is a monument commemorating that definition in Suchowola 53°34′39″N 23°06′22″E / 53.57750°N 23.10611°E / 53.57750; 23.10611 (Suchowola, Poland (monument)).

Current measurements[edit]

Extreme points of Europe and two of its geographic centres: the Saaremaa island in western Estonia, and Babruysk in Belarus.
Monument in Purnuškės, Lithuania
Travel time by car or ferry from the geographical center in Lithuania

After a re-estimation of the boundaries of the continent of Europe in 1989, Jean-George Affholder, a scientist at the Institut Géographique National (French National Geographic Institute) determined that the geographic centre of Europe is located at 54°54′N 25°19′E / 54.900°N 25.317°E / 54.900; 25.317 (Purnuškės (centre of gravity)).[2] The method used for calculating this point was that of the centre of gravity of the geometrical figure of Europe. This point is located in Lithuania, near the village of Purnuškės. A monument, composed by the sculptor Gediminas Jokūbonis and consisting of a column of white granite surmounted by a crown of stars, was erected at the location in 2004. An area of woods and fields surrounding the geographic centre point and including Lake Girija, Bernotai Hill, and an old burial ground, was set aside as a reserve in 1992. The State Tourism Department at the Ministry of Economy of Lithuania has classified the Geographic Centre monument and its reserve as a tourist attraction. 17 km away lies Europos Parkas, Open Air Museum of the Centre of Europe, a sculpture park containing the world's largest sculpture made of TV sets.[3]


Monument to the Geographical Centre of Europe in Polotsk, Belarus

In 2000 Belarusian scientists Alexey Solomonov and Valery Anoshko published a report that stated the geographic centre of Europe was located near Lake Sho (55°10′55″N 28°15′30″E / 55.18194°N 28.25833°E / 55.18194; 28.25833; Belarusian: Шо) in Vitsebsk Voblast.[4]

Scientists from the Russian Central Research Institute of Geodesy, Aerial Survey and Cartography (Russian: ЦНИИГАиК) confirmed the calculations of Belarusian geodesists that the geographical centre of Europe is located in Polotsk 55°30′0″N 28°48′0″E / 55.50000°N 28.80000°E / 55.50000; 28.80000. A small monument to the Geographical Centre of Europe was set up in Polotsk on May 31, 2008.[5]


It is claimed that a 1992 survey found that the geometric centre of Europe is in the village of Tállya, Hungary 48°14′10″N 21°13′33″E / 48.23610°N 21.22574°E / 48.23610; 21.22574.[6][7] In 2000, a sculpture was erected in the village, with a table on it declaring the place the "Geometric Centre of Europe".[8]


It is claimed that if all the islands of Europe – from the Azores to Franz Joseph Land and from Crete to Iceland – are taken into consideration then the centre of Europe lies at 58°18′14″N 22°16′44″E / 58.30389°N 22.27889°E / 58.30389; 22.27889 (North of Torgu) in the village of Mõnnuste, on Saaremaa island in western Estonia. Again, no author and no method of calculation have been disclosed. The local Kärla Parish is seeking to verify the location and to turn it into a tourist location.[9]

Other claimants[edit]

This map shows in red points some of the locations of claimants to the title of Centre of Europe:
Dilove (Rakhiv, Ukraine), Krahule (or Kremnické Bane, Slovakia), Dresden and Kleinmaischeid (Germany), Toruń and Suchowola (Poland), Bernotai, or Purnuškės (Lithuania)

Locations currently vying for the distinction of being the centre of Europe include:

The Guinness World Records recognises Bernotai, as the official geographical midpoint of Europe,[citation needed] but that does not preclude other centres, depending on the methodology used in making the determination.

Historical measurements[edit]


Austrian-Hungarian marker in Ukraine
Mount Tillenberg/Dyleň (in the background, as seen from Neualbenreuth, Bavaria)

Soviet measurements[edit]

Measurements done after World War II by Soviet scientists reconfirmed the Austria-Hungarian claim that Rakhiv and Dilove (in Russian: Rakhov and Dyelovoye) to be the geographical centre of Europe. The old marker in the small town was renewed, and a major campaign to convince everyone of its validity was undertaken.[citation needed]

Geographic centre of the European Union[edit]

Other locations have claimed the title of geographic centre of Europe on the basis of calculations taking into account only the territory of those states which are members of the European Union (or formerly - European Community).

IGN calculations[edit]

Memorial at Viroinval (15-member-EU)
Memorial at Kleinmaischeid (25-member-EU)
Memorial at Gelnhausen-Meerholz (27-member-EU)
Geographical centre of the 28-member European Union including Mayotte (from 10 May 2014) in Westerngrund, Bavaria

As the European Union (EU) has grown in the last 50 years, so has the geographical centre shifted with each expansion.

The French Institut Géographique National (IGN) has been calculating the changing location of what it estimates to be the geographical centre of the EU since at least 1987. Its calculations exclude such extra-European territories of the EU as French Polynesia.

Other calculations[edit]

The geographical midpoint of the European Union is not free from disputes, either. If some different extreme points of the European Union, like some Atlantic Ocean islands, are taken into consideration this point is calculated in different locations.[citation needed]


The original centre of the Eurozone is located in France, and in various places for various periods. At some point of time it was near the village of Liernais. This location also changes with the accession of new countries into Eurozone (e.g. Slovakia 2009).[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Gardner, N (November 2005). "Pivotal points: defining Europe's centre". Hidden Europe (5): 20–21. Retrieved 2007-01-11.  Useful short English language article that considers the claims of various localities to be the geographical centre of Europe.

A film about the "Center of Europe"[edit]

A 2004 Polish-German documentary, Środek Europy (Die Mitte, "The Center"), written and directed by Stanisław Mucha, shows over a dozen different locations.[20]


  1. ^ "Suchowola commune (Poland)". In 1775 royal astronomer Szymon Antoni Sobiekrajski published a report in which he stated that Suchowola is the exact geographic centre of Europe 
  2. ^ Jan S. Krogh. "Other Places of Interest: Central Europe". 
  3. ^ "Europos Parkas: Open Air Museum of the Centre of Europe". EU PHARE 2001 Co-operation in the Baltic Sea Region Programme. 
  4. ^ . Belarus Magazine |archiveurl= missing title (help). Archived from the original on 2012-06-08. 
  5. ^ Российские геодезисты подтвердили нахождение центра Европы в Полоцке - Главные новости - БЕЛТА - новости, события, факты, комментарии[dead link]
  6. ^ "Tállya Online: Európa Mértani Közepe, Tállya". Archived from the original on 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  7. ^ Cristea, George (2001). Jakten på Europas mittpunkt (in Swedish). Stockholm: Carlsson. ISBN 91-7203-435-1. 
  8. ^ "Tállya nevezetességei/Közterületi szobrok/Európa mértani középpontja/DSCF6249". Archived from the original on 2009-11-18. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  9. ^ "Kärla vald tahab Euroopa keskpunkti külalistele avada" (in Estonian). 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ : "according to the research of the French National Geographic Institute, the one and only geographical central point of the continent is in Lithuania, a fact that even won recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records"
  14. ^ Tapon, Francis (2011). The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us. SonicTrek. p. 14. ISBN 9780976581222. 
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2013-09-13.  : "According to topographical measurements, Tállya is the geodesic centre of [...] continental Europe"
  17. ^ Frey, George (2007-01-05). "5 January 2007". Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. Retrieved 2011-01-03. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Connolly, Kate (6 April 2017). "Gadheim – the Bavarian hamlet set to become the centre of a post-Brexit EU". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2017. 
  20. ^ "The Center (Die Mitte)". strandfilm.