5 Outstanding universal value of Struve Geodetic Arc

5 Outstanding universal value of Struve Geodetic Arc

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Outstanding universal value of Struve Geodetic Arc

World Heritage Committee inscribed Struve Geodetic Arc to the World heritage list in 2005, respecting such criteria:

  1. The first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian, helping in the establishment of the exact size and shape of the world exhibits an important step in the development of earth sciences. It is also an extraordinary example for interchange of human values in the form of scientific collaboration among scientists from different countries. It is at the same time an example for collaboration between monarchs of different powers, for a scientific cause.
  2. The Struve Geodetic Arc is undoubtedly an outstanding example of a technological ensemble - presenting the triangulation points of the measuring of the meridian, being the non-movable and non-tangible part of the measuring technology.
  3. The measuring of the arc and its results are directly associated with humans wondering about their world, its shape and size. It is linked with Sir Isaac Newton’s theory that the world is not an exact sphere.

Struve Geodetic Arc is commemorated and presented to public by 34 selected points. In each country, depending on the length of the arc, from one to six of the most important points are preserved: In Norway — 4, in Sweden — 4, in Finland — 6, in Russia — 2, in Estonia — 3, in Latvia — 2, in Lithuania — 3, in Belarus — 5, in Moldavia — 1, in Ukraine — 4. The points, preserved in Lithuania, are Meškonys, Paliepukai (both in Vilnius region) and Gireišiai (Rokiškis region).

Impressive monuments have been erected in the northern and southern points of Struve Geodetic Arc.


Geodetic point Storiai

References to an information about the geodetic point Storiai (STWORANZI), which has been established in the mountain named “Stulpakalnis” and “Didžiasis”, at the highest point of the Storiai hill, are dated to the beginning of the 19th century. The point was included to the first triangulation network of the Lithuanian region (Vilnius gubernia) formed by C. Tenner and used in the measurements of the Struve Geodetic Arc in 1816-1821. The geodetic coordinates of the point were inscribed to the report of these measurements at 1818, the position being determined according to the Paris meridian, H.J. Walbeck ellipsoide: north latitude 55 degrees 29 minutes 21.72 sec, east longitude 22 degrees 49 minutes 46.10 sec. In 1989 the coordinates of the point have been converted to Lithuanian coordinate reference system: north latitude 55 degrees 29 minutes 19.16 sec, east longitude 25 degrees 08 minutes 59.73 sec.

It is known that 35 m high triangulation tower, called “majokas“ by locals, was established in Storiai at 1938. Inhabitants even renamed the hill Majokalnis from Stulpakalnis. The tower has been erected above the original point, established from bricks at XIX c. The construction of the tower was supervised by Zigmas Staškus, an officer of Lithuanian Army. The point, re-established at mid XX c., served for an establishment and correction of the state triangulation network. The locals used the "majokas" as an observation tower, a kind of "light of happiness", offering a magnificent panoramic view.

Several documented facts of national resistance: at least twice the brave inhabitants of Storiai at about 1940 – Justinas Šumyla, Donatas Češūnas, Bronius Češūnas, and at about 1950 – Juozas Češūnas, risking their life, climbed to the tower on February 16th, National Independence Day, and raised the national flag of Lithuania. Prior II W.W. local community organized national folk festivities, called “gegužinės” on the hill, and later the hill served to local people as a place of important meetings, entertainments, and consolations.


The information has been prepared as part of the project No. LLI-477 “Creation of international tourist route “The Struve Geodetic Arc” (Struve), which is funded by the European Union under the Interreg V-A Latvia – Lithuania Programme 2014-2020.