Struve Geodetic Arc

Published by the Directorate for Cultural Heritage Lag rapport Les på norsk

Struve Geodetic Arch is the first technical-scientific cultural object inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. It was inscribed on the list in 2005.

Inscribed on World Heritage List in 2005

Struve Geodetic Arc was the first scientific survey on a large scale in Europe. It 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. 

The work was carried out under the leadership of Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve in the years 1816 to 1855. Struve Geodetic Arc is unique in its extent and quality, and an important part of the history of geodetic science.

Cross-border cooperation

The World Heritage Site is comprised of 34 points of measurement between the Arctic Ocean and the outlet of River Danube. The points of measurement are placed in all the 10 countries the arc passes through; Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.

All the points of measurements have one form or another of monumentation – be it a hole in rock, an iron bolt, a cairn, an obelisk or pillar. The points in Norway are:

  • The obelisk in Hammerfest
  • Summit Lille Raipas (Unna Ráipásas) in Alta
  • Summit Luvddiidcohkka (Lodiken) in Kautokeino
  • Summit Bealjásvárri/Muvravárri in Kautokeino