hidden europe 5

In search of the arc

by Nicky Gardner


hidden europe introduces the latest UNESCO World Heritage Site: Struve's Geodetic Arc.

Tornio just inside Finland, on the east side of the river that divides Sweden and Finland north of the Gulf of Bothnia, is scarcely the sort of place to linger, unless, arriving from Sweden and scarred by the price of alcohol there, you find distraction in Tornio's improbable number of bars. But just a few minutes south of Tornio is the little community of Alatornio, a place protected by its peninsula location well off the crowded main highway. The church at Alatornio is a handsome piece of late eighteenth century design, quite possibly modelled on the Adolf Fredrik Church in Stockholm. It is also famous for something entirely different - for the church was one of the survey stations on the Struve Geodetic Arc, a remarkable virtual line that crosses northern and eastern Europe. hidden europe went in search of the arc.

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