The Struve Geodetic Arc in Ivatsevichi

The Struve Geodetic Arc in Ivatsevichi


Sculpture, monuments, memorials

The Struve Geodetic Arc is a truly interesting and known to not everyone attraction, a part of which is located in the Belarusian town of Ivatsevichi. The Geodetic Arc itself is a large scale project designed by the Russian astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve and been a system of two hundred and sixty five triangulation points - two-meter stone cubes dug into earth. The Geodetic arc was created to identify the key characteristics of the Earth as a planet: its shape and size.  

The construction of the Arc was started in 1816 and lasted forty years. The works on its measurement were conducted by Struve himself with the help of his people - the research workers of the Dorpat and Pulkovo Observatories (he was the director of both). The length of the chain is 2820 kilometers! It starts from the shores of the Black Sea and ends at the Arctic Ocean. Every point of the Struve Geodetic Arc could look different: a cube of granite dug in stones, the cavity of which was filled with lead; a stone pyramid; a niche in the rock; an iron cross.

The measurement obtained after the construction became a real breakthrough in Astronomy. Due to the Struve Geodetic Arc it became possible to receive the absolutely exact facts about the size and shape of our planet. It is considered that the project of the astronomer is one of the greatest achievements not only in Astronomy, but also in Geodesy and Geography. Thanks to it cartography received significant impetus in the development. It is considered that up to the present time the results, obtained by Struve, have an error of only a few centimeters! It is truly amazing, if we take into account the fact that the reliefs have changed very much for two hundred years.

Not so long ago an active search for the parts of the Struve Geodetic Arc was begun in our country. Unfortunately, many of them have already been irretrievably lost or destroyed over time. That is why it is recognized as one of the greatest achievements of science. Not the least of the factors is the fact that our country leads in the number of the found and preserved points of the Arc, five of which are included in the list of the World Historical and Cultural Heritage, protected by UNESCO.

On the territory of our Republic were located thirty one points formed the Arc. Nowadays only 19 of them are left, and three of them are in Ivatsevichi district. They are located in the villages of Velikaya Gat, Dolgoye and in the town of Ivatsevichi itself. On the occasion of the centenary of the construction of Ivatsevichi point here was erected a memorial sign, which we suggest to see when you visit Ivatsevichi. The Arc is a triumph of human mind, the triumph of science and scientific achievements, thanks to which now we live and thrive in the fast progressing world. 

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