Struve Arc


The Struve Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through 10 countries and over 2,820 km. These are points of a survey, carried out between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, which represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian.

This helped to establish the exact size and shape of the planet 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. The original arc consisted of 258 main triangles with 265 main station points.

Nowadays there are 34 of them which survived throughout the time. These are original station points, with different markings, i.e. a drilled hole in rock, iron cross, cairns, or built obelisks. There are 19 topographic points of the Struve Geodetic Arc located in the Republic of Belarus with 5 having commemorative plaques or built obelisks. In 2005, the chain, located in 10 countries, was included to the World Heritage List.

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