Lapland
In My Heart

The Struve Geodetic Arc starts at Hammerfest
and goes through 10 countries


The Struve Geodetic Arc

The Struve Geodetic Arc is a World Heritage site consisting of a chain of survey points stretching from Hammerfest in Norwegian Lapland to the Black Sea. The Arc goes through 10 countries and covers 2,820 km.

This work was done between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve. The points represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian line.

Size and Shape of Earth

This also helped to decide the exact size and shape of planet Earth and marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping. It is an extraordinary example of scientific collaboration among scientists from different countries, and of collaboration between monarchs for a scientific cause. It is linked with Sir Isaac Newton's theory that the world is not an exact sphere.

The original arc consisted of 258 main triangles with 265 main station points. The Struve World Heritage site includes 34 of the original station points, with different markings, i.e. a drilled holes in rock, iron crosses, cairns, and obelisks.

Many station points

The Struve Geodetic Arc goes through these countries: Norway, Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Russian Federation, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine

The picture shows the northenmost point of the arc at Hammerfest. geodetic arc A total of 34 station points have been selected for protection.

Three of these are located in Finnish Lapland: Stuor-oivi (now known as Stuorrahanoaivi) near the Norwegian border; Avasaksa (Aavasaksa) and Torneå (Alatornio church).

In Norwegian Lapland there are four points: Fuglenes in Hammerfest, Raipas in Alta, Luvdiid?ohkka in Kautokeino and Baelljasvarri also in Kautokeino.

In Swedish Lapland there are also four points: Pajtas-vaara (Tynnyrilaki) in Kiruna, Kerrojupukka (Jupukka) in Pajala, Pullinki in Övertorneå and Perra-vaara (Perävaara) in Haparanda.
(Photo: UNESCO)

Read more about World Heritage.

Read about land surveying before the satellite era.

Here you can read more about the Struve Geodetic Arc



Where the Reindeer Roam


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