Geographical Center of Europe

Historically Lithuania was always a bridge between East and West, a neighbor country of biggest aggressors and a battlefield for them competing for sphere of influence. The geographical location never let Lithuania to distance from the main European events and this is not surprising as it is the real scientifically agreed geographical center of Europe. The location caused many problems and disasters to Lithuanians, on the other hand, nowadays the nation can be proud to be official owners of this important European spot.

In 1989 scientist of National France Geography institute subjected the definition of geographical center of Europe and sustaining the scientific methods of gravitational center measured that the unique and unassailable geographical center of Europe is located just 26 kilometers north from Vilnius city in Lithuania, just by the village of Purnuškiai. After the measurement the necessity of  special marking of the place appeared. Firstly, the simple masonry of stones was set there in 1991, however, this monument did not stand for a long time. Later, there was put a stone of 9 tones weight, decorated with an iron panel with records.

In 1992 the vicinity was declared to be a reservation  together with some natural creatures around like the Girija lake, the mound of Bernotai. Scientists made some findings that in approximately 1-5th centuries a defensive castle stood there.  Every year as flows of tourists enlarge, Lithuanian State department of tourism started implementing the tourism project of geographical center of Europe. In 2004 the presentation of this place was held. In order to mention this occasion as well as the fact of Lithuania entering the European Union, the sculptor Gediminas Jokūbonis created the wonderful monument – the white granite pillar with a crown of stars on the top.

Nowadays people can visit the geographical center of Europe absolutely free of charge. There are 2 expositions held, one of them inside, another outside. The exposition outside can be reviewed whenever visitors want to, there are no time limitations. It is generally agreed that every European must visit it at least one time per life as this is an important place, where the whole strength of Europe centralizes. There are even special certificates in various languages available that is the best mark and a souvenir for everyone once visited the geographical center of Europe.

The center is open every day 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Those who want to find it best direction is driving the Molėtai highway aproximately 26 kilometers from Vilnius, looking for Purnuškiai village and following signs.