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Is Europe center on the island of Ucel in Estonia?

If you look at Europe on a map, with all its islands and peninsulas, it is not very easy to locate the center of the continent.

However, many have tried to do so. In many European countries there are monuments and statues that declare that this is where the focal point lies.

These are found, for example, outside the village of Girija in Lithuania, on top of a mountain on the border between the Czech Republic and Germany and in the town of Suchwola in northeastern Poland.

Even Swedish Landskrona He claimed to have housed the center, since then-port chief Arne Weinberg estimated in 1988 that the city was in the middle of the so-called angular globular triangle on the outskirts of Europe.

Styled in the shape of a yellow pencil In Järnvägsgatan in the city center of Skanyan.

But there are, of course, other ways to calculate other than triangles, as well as other ways to determine what Europe really is geographically.

One can simply Take the four extreme points on East, West, North and South and draw a cross between them – and you will get a central point.

One can also calculate the location of Europe’s “center of gravity”. It’s a bit like cutting out a map of Europe from reasonably heavy matter, and then trying to balance the map on a needle. The point where the map “maintains balance” is the center.

But what should be considered Europe? Do islands like Iceland, Faroe Islands, Svalbard and Crete count?

Of course, different answers give different midpoints.

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The place you might be It has the greatest weight behind its claims is the Lithuanian point near Girija. It was supported by a calculation made in 1989 by French professor Jean-Georges Avolder which is based on the center of gravity method.

Lithuania has invested heavily in the honor of being in the heart of Europe. It is located a short distance from Girija Europe Garden (“Europaparken”), an open-air museum with modern art that houses, among other things, the “LNK Infotree,” a giant artwork built from 3,000 televisions with a statue of Lenin upside-down in the middle.

The park is located just a 20-minute drive from the capital, Vilnius, and is launched as a necessity for tourists.

Part of the Berlin Wall at the Europus Barcas Open Air Museum outside Vilnius.

Photo: Mindaugas Kulbis / AP

But geographers are among others Poland and Slovakia do not agree with the Lithuanians and claim that the center is located in their countries.

And now Estonia is entering the game. More specifically, the village of Mõnnuste on the island of Ucel.

In the summer people come here and ask for the way to Central Europe. Unfortunately, there are no signs of that today, says one of the elders in the village, Tina Saar Estonian public service company ERR.

She plans to build a kind of monument in the village to help tourists.

We’ve already printed T-shirts where we mark the coordinates, says Christina Magee, Ucell’s director of tourism.

But what is clear Islanders base their demands on.

Evelyn Oyma, professor of geographic information at the University of Tartu, investigated the matter with two colleagues.

She told DN that the Estonian claims appear to be based on a Wikipedia article, where the center allegedly ends up in Ucel if you include all the outlying islands – from the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean to the Russian Arctic archipelago of Franz Josef Land.

– We tested the same border points and the result was that the center is in Lithuania. “We couldn’t find any way or any boundary points that would make the center end up even near Ösel, so maybe the Wikipedia article should be removed,” says Uuemaa.

May get islanders Find other ways to attract tourists, such as the many medieval stone churches or sand dunes on Järve Beach.

For those who like the effects, there is actually one in Ucel, in the form Five-meter high island That delineate the boundaries between two Estonian dialects.