Kilometre zero

In many countries, kilometre zero (also written km 0) or similar terms in other languages (also known as zero mile marker, control stations or control points) is a particular location (usually in the nation's capital city) from which distances are traditionally measured. Historically, they were markers where drivers could set their odometers to follow the directions in early guide books.[1]

One such marker is the Milliarium Aureum ("Golden Milestone") of the Roman Empire, believed to be the literal origin for the maxim that "all roads lead to Rome".

CountriesEdit

ArgentinaEdit

 
Kilometre zero, Buenos Aires

Argentina marks kilometre zero with a monolith in Plaza Congreso in Buenos Aires. The work of the brothers Máximo and José Fioravanti, the structure was placed on the north side of Plaza Lorea on October 2, 1935; it was moved to its present location on May 18, 1944. An image of Our Lady of Luján (honored on the monolith as "the patron saint of the national road network") appears on the monolith's north face, a relief map of Argentina is on the south face, plaques in honor of José de San Martín are west, and on its eastern side, the date of the decree and the name of the relevant authorities.

AustraliaEdit

Highways in Australia are usually built and maintained by the states and territories.

In the state of New South Wales, highway distances (mileages) were traditionally measured from a sandstone obelisk in Macquarie Place in Sydney, designed by Francis Greenway in 1818.[2] The obelisk lists the distances to various locations in New South Wales at the time.[3] For the railway, it is at platform 1 of Sydney Central Station.

The General Post Office building in Melbourne traditionally serves this purpose in Victoria.[4]

In Western Australia, road distances are measured from Point Zero, which is by the old Treasury Building on the corner of Cathedral Avenue and St George's Terrace in Perth.[5]

CanadaEdit

 
The Mile 0 point for the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek

ChileEdit

 
Kilometre Zero at Plaza de Armas, Santiago, Chile

All national distances from Santiago originate at the Km. 0 plaque, at the Plaza de Armas main square in downtown Santiago. (Coordinates: 33°26′16″S 70°39′02″W / 33.437807°S 70.650523°W / -33.437807; -70.650523.)

Chile's Autopista Central – Eje Norte-Sur (the eastern segment of the Panamerican Highway that passes through Santiago) has its Kilometre Zero at the intersection with the Alameda del Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins, the capital's main avenue. (Coordinates: 33°26′46″S 70°39′39″W / 33.446200°S 70.660704°W / -33.446200; -70.660704.)

ChinaEdit

China Railway's 0 km is at the entrance to the Fengtai Yard on the Jingguang Line just outside Beijing. This point was historically the start of the line; the marker is a simple concrete marker, with "0" painted on it. There is no ceremonial plaque.

The kilometre zero point for highways is at Tiananmen Square, just outside the Zhengyangmen Gate. It is marked with a plaque in the ground, with the four cardinal points, four animals, and "Zero Point of Highways, China" in English and Chinese.

CubaEdit

 
The diamond in El Capitolio, Havana, marking the Cuban Kilometre Zero

Cuba's Kilometre Zero is in its capital Havana in El Capitolio. Embedded in the floor in the centre of the main hall is a replica 25 carat (5 g) diamond, which marks Kilometre Zero for Cuba. The original diamond, said to have belonged to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and have been sold to the Cuban state by a Turkish merchant, was stolen on March 25, 1946, and mysteriously returned to the President, Ramón Grau San Martín, on June 2, 1946. It was replaced in El Capitolio by a replica in 1973.

DenmarkEdit

Copenhagen Town hall square is the zero point.

Dominican RepublicEdit

DR-1, DR-2, and DR-3 all depart from Kilometre Zero from Santo Domingo's Parque de Independencia.

EgyptEdit

Kilometre Zero in Egypt is at the Attaba Square Post Office in 1st of Abdel Khaliq Sarwat Pasha Street, Cairo.

EthiopiaEdit

Kilometre Zero in Ethiopia is in Menelik Square, Addis Ababa, in front of St. George's Cathedral; it is the point from which all Ethiopian highway distances are measured. The point was designated by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1930.

FinlandEdit

 
Erottaja Square in Helsinki

Kilometre Zero of Finland is at the Erottaja square in central Helsinki.

FranceEdit

 
Kilometre Zero of the French highways

Kilometre Zero of French national highways in Paris on the square facing the main entrance of Notre-Dame is considered the official centre of Paris (Coordinates: 48°51′12″N 2°20′56″E / 48.8534°N 2.3488°E / 48.8534; 2.3488).

GermanyEdit

 
Reconstructed milestone in Berlin

Initially the origin point of all Prussian roads leading to and from Berlin was at Dönhoff-Platz in the city centre (1730–1875) and in 1975 a reconstructed milestone was placed in front of the Spittel-Kolonnaden at Marion-Gräfin-Dönhoff-Platz. 52°30′39″N 13°23′56″E / 52.510788°N 13.398964°E / 52.510788; 13.398964

Great BritainEdit

 
Plaque at the original site of Charing Cross, now the site of the Charles I statue.

On the pavement a few feet behind the equestrian statue of King Charles I that sits on a traffic island just south of Trafalgar Square in London, there is a plaque bearing the inscription:

On the site now occupied by the statue of King Charles was erected the original Queen Eleanor's Cross, a replica of which stands in front of Charing Cross station. Mileages from London are measured from the site of the original cross.

In Scotland, distances from Edinburgh are measured from the GPO building in Princes Street.

See also: London Stone, Hicks Hall, and St Mary-le-Bow, a church from which the distance of the original London to Lewes road is measured.

GreeceEdit

In ancient Greece, distances were measured from the altar of twelve gods, in the ancient agora of Athens. So, that altar can be considered the first kilometre zero in human history.

Nowadays, the kilometre zero for Greek highways is in Syntagma square, the major square of Athens.

HungaryEdit

 
Hungary's Kilometre Zero

The Zero Kilometre in Budapest is marked by a monument, forming the number "zero". The starting point was initially reckoned from the threshold of the Buda Royal Palace, but it was taken down to the Széchenyi Chain Bridge when it was built in 1849.

The city of Kecskemét also has a Zero Kilometre Stone, on Kossuth Square.

IndiaEdit

In India, Zero milestone is a monument in the city of Nagpur, Maharashtra. The Zero milestone was erected by the British Raj. The Zero Mile Stone consists of four horses and a pillar made up of sandstone. There is no verifiable evidence that it is a monument locating the geographical centre of colonial India in the city of Nagpur,[6] or that the Zero Mile Stone was erected by the British to use this point to measure all the distances.[7] Nevertheless, the city of Nagpur lies geographically center to all the four major metros of India, viz. Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and New Delhi.

In Mumbai, the zero point used to be at St. Thomas Cathedral, but now it is at the Horniman Circle.[8] In Chennai, the Kilometer Zero is at the midpoint of Muthuswamy Bridge on Muthuswamy Road near the Chennai Fort railway station on the south-western side of the Fort St. George.[9]

IndonesiaEdit

Kilometre zero of Indonesia is marked by the monument in Weh Island, the northernmost and westernmost point of Indonesia.[10][11][12]

IrelandEdit

In Ireland distances from Dublin are measured from the General Post Office on the city's main thoroughfare, O’Connell Street. For distances in Northern Ireland, Donegall Square is considered the centre of Belfast.

IsraelEdit

In Jerusalem, its Kilometre zero or zero point is at Jaffa Gate. Some say it's at The Garden Tomb. However, there is no precise marker, as of today.

ItalyEdit

The Italian Kilometre Zero is on the top of the Capitoline Hill, in Rome.

JapanEdit

 
Kilometre Zero of Japan on the Nihonbashi Bridge in Tokyo

The Kilometre Zero of Japan (日本国道路元標, Nipponkoku Dōro Genpyō) is on the middle of Nihonbashi bridge in Tokyo. Tokyo Station is considered the originating point of the national railway network and has several posts and monuments indicating 0 km of lines originating from the station.

MadagascarEdit

The Kilometre Zero for the major roads radiating from Antananarivo is on the square in front of the Soarano Railway Station.

MalaysiaEdit

 
Kilometre Zero at Johor Bahru

The Kilometre Zero for roads and highways in Peninsular Malaysia is at Johor Bahru General Post Office.[13] It is one of the rare cases where the national kilometre zero is not at the national capital, due to the fact that the distances for three major backbone routes (Federal Routes 1, 3 and 5) are measured from Johor Bahru, where the three routes meet and connect to Singapore via the Johor–Singapore Causeway.

MexicoEdit

The Kilometre Zero is in Mexico City, next to the Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral.

NorwayEdit

The Kilometre Zero is in Oslo at the address Observatoriegaten 1.

PanamaEdit

The Panamanian Kilometre Zero is at the Martin Sosa Bridge on the Simon Bolivar Avenue (Transisthmian Highway) in Panama City.

PhilippinesEdit

The marble marker designated as KM 0 fronting the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park is Kilometre Zero (Tagalog: Kilometro Kupong) for road distances on the islands of Luzon and Samar.[15]

In Mindanao, KM 0 is in Marawi.[16] In Cebu, it is in front of the provincial capitol.[17] Islands of Batanes have kilometer zero too separate to the kilometre zero of islands of Luzon.[18] As well as the kilometre zero of the island of Leyte is in front of the provincial capitol.[19]

Prior to World War II, the entire archipelago only had one KM 0, and it was situated on the cross atop the media naranja dome crossing of the seventh incarnation of Manila Cathedral.


PolandEdit

 
Warsaw.

Warsaw, the capital of Poland, has a meeting point featuring plaques with distances from it to other major cities of the country. It is placed on the intersection of the city's two main avenues, Aleje Jerozolimskie and Marszałkowska Street, next to the Centrum Warsaw Metro station.

PortugalEdit

Portugal does not have a kilometre zero physical marker, but distances in origin-destinations matrices involving Lisbon use the Rossio square in the country's capital acting as a kilometre zero.

RomaniaEdit

 
Bucharest

The Kilometre Zero of Romania is marked by a monument in front of Saint George's Church in central Bucharest.

RussiaEdit

 
Kilometre Zero in Moscow

The bronze plaque marking Russia's Kilometre Zero is in Moscow, just in front of the Iberian Chapel, in a short passage connecting Red Square with Manege Square and flanked by the State Historical Museum and the City Duma.

SlovakiaEdit

Slovakia has its Kilometre Zero in Bratislava under Michael's Gate in the Michalská veža (St. Michael's tower).

South KoreaEdit

Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, has its 'Doro Wonpyo' (Korean: 도로원표) in the centre of Gwanghwamun Intersection to measure all distance of both national and regional roads. The initial statue, made by Seoul Metropolitan City to commemorate in 1997, is in near of Donghwa Duty-free shop building, next to a police station, in front of Shinhan Bank building ( Gwanghwamun Station), 151 m far from its exact point.

SpainEdit

 
Madrid's renewed Kilometre Zero.

Spain has its Kilometre Zero in the centre of the Puerta del Sol in Madrid (incidentally, the clock of the old Royal House of the Post Office, in front of which the plaque is, marks the official time in Spain, according to the urban legend). The plaque that marks this point was turned around 180 degrees by mistake in 2002 during a reform of the square. The plaque was renewed in 2009, during the roadworks of the Puerta del Sol square, and this time placed in the right position.

Sri LankaEdit

In Sri Lanka, all distances from Colombo is measured in kilometers (formerly in miles) from the Fort Clock Tower near President's House. This practice began with the construction of the Colombo-Kandy road in 1830, which was the first modern highway in the island. Since then three major roads have been constructed from Colombo; A1 – Colombo-Kandy Road, A2 – Colombo-Wellawaya (CGHW) Road and A4 – Colombo-Batticaloa (CRWB) Road.

SwedenEdit

In Sweden, the equestrian statue of King Gustav II Adolf in the middle of the Gustav Adolfs torg square in Stockholm is used as the kilometre zero for roads. In general road distance signs are measured to city midpoints. For most mainline railways, kilometres are measured from the entrance door from the main hall to track 10 of the Stockholm Central Station. There are simple painted signs on the side of the platforms.

SwitzerlandEdit

The federal railway network's Kilometer Null is in Olten. It was made in the 19th century to mark the point from where the Swiss railway system was measured. Because of the complex and dense manner in which the Swiss railway system has since grown, and continues to grow, it is no longer used. There is a mark at Zürich main station which is a little outside the present end of the tracks and used by some mainlines.

Taiwan (Republic of China)Edit

 
Kilometer zero in Taiwan

The crossroad of Zhongxiao Road and Zhongshan Road (Taipei) in Zhongzheng District, Taipei is the start point of provincial highway No. 1, 1A (Traditional Chinese: 臺1甲), 3, 5 and 9. In 2012, by the Directorate General of Highways, MOTC, a traffic sign and a sidewalk inscription marking the location as Kilometer Zero were placed by the northeast side and by the southeast side of the intersection separately.[20]25°2′44.5″N 121°31′10.7″E / 25.045694°N 121.519639°E / 25.045694; 121.519639

ThailandEdit

 
northern Thailand

Thailand has two points that are declared as Kilometre Zero. The National Highway's Kilometre Zero is the Democracy Monument on Ratchadamnoen Avenue, and the Railway's Kilometre Zero is the Erawan Elephant Monument, in front of Bangkok Railway Station.

UkraineEdit

The Kilometre Zero of Ukraine, called "The Winged Globe", is at Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kiev. 50°27′00″N 30°31′24″E / 50.4500729°N 30.523444°E / 50.4500729; 30.523444

United StatesEdit

 
Zero Milestone in Washington, D.C.

The metric system is not the common system in the United States, but mile markers for most major roads begin at either their western or southern terminus. The mile-marking systems are generally within individual states; the mile count starts over when a state boundary is crossed.

Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the original architect of Washington, D.C., proposed an otherwise unnamed reference marker in the form of a pole to be one mile (1609.34 meters) east of the Capitol that was never built.

Although not used for measurement on U.S. roads outside the city of Washington, D.C., a Zero Milestone near the White House was proposed in 1919 and a permanent marker placed in 1923 by the Federal government, funded by the Good Roads Movement. However, the Capitol building is used as the zero point for the city including the nation.

In New York City, Columbus Circle, at the southwest corner of Central Park, is the traditional point from which all official distances are measured,[21] although Google Maps uses New York City Hall for the purpose.[22]

In the City of Chicago and some of its suburbs, the intersection of State and Madison is the defined zero point.

In Los Angeles, the intersection of Main Street and 1st Street is the defined zero point. Hollywood's own zero point is at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

Perhaps the most well-known 'Mile Zero' in the US, and the one that has spawned the creation of a popular bumper sticker, is in Key West, Florida, at the southern terminus of U.S. Route 1.

UruguayEdit

 
Columna de la Paz in Montevideo.

Uruguay has a "Kilómetro Cero" for the national routes at the Pace Collumn, in Plaza de Cagancha of the city of Montevideo.[23]

A "Kilómetro Cero" has been established for the Uruguay River by the Treaty of Río Uruguay in 1961 on the parallel passing the area, Punta Gorda in the Colonia Department, south of Nueva Palmira.

HistoricalEdit

Byzantine EmpireEdit

 
Reconstruction of Constantinople's Milion, based on historical accounts and surviving fragments.

The Byzantine Empire had an arched building, the Milion of Constantinople, as the starting-place for the measurement of distances for all the roads leading to the other cities. In the 1960s, some fragments were discovered and erected in its original location, now in the district of Eminönü, Istanbul, Turkey.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic and Cultural Resources" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 6, 2006. Retrieved April 22, 2007.
  2. ^ City of Sydney (July 3, 2008). "History in the making for Macquarie Place Obelisk". Archived from the original on October 7, 2009. Retrieved May 9, 2009.
  3. ^ Heritage Branch (Government of New South Wales). "State Heritage Register: Macquarie Place Precinct (Draft)". Retrieved May 9, 2009.
  4. ^ "Former General Post Office". National Trust. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  5. ^ Cathedral Square. "Point Zero". Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  6. ^ "Zero Mile". Archived from the original on August 16, 2010.
  7. ^ G. V. Joshi (August 2, 2001). "Zero miles stone". The Hindu. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  8. ^ Kamala Ganesh, Usha Thakkar and Gita Chadha (Eds.). (2008). Zero Point Bombay: In and Around Horniman Circle. Lotus Collection, Roli Books. ISBN 978-81-7436-659-7.
  9. ^ Geetha Padmanabhan (October 28, 2014). "City explorer: Ever crossed this milestone?". The Hindu.
  10. ^ "Menjejakkan Kaki di Tugu Nol Kilometer Sabang" (in Indonesian). Kompas. February 11, 2013.
  11. ^ "Weh Island: Diving the Untouched Edge". Archived from the original on July 11, 2015. Sabang is the capital city of Weh Island. Why not explore the town as well? You might want to take a picture of a sign bearing "Indonesia Nol Kilometer" (Zero Kilometer of Indonesia).
  12. ^ "Sabang: Indonesia at KM 0". The Jakarta Post. January 13, 2013.
  13. ^ "Peninsular Malaysian Kilometre Zero". Blog Jalan Raya Malaysia. May 12, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
  14. ^ "Kilometre Zero Marker – Manila". wikimapia.org. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  15. ^ "Deciphering The Kilometer Marker". Deciphering The Kilometer Marker ~ Philippine Travel Notes. October 7, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  16. ^ Marie, AuthorLisa (October 1, 2012). "MARAWI CITY | Kilometer Zero of Mindanao". PINAY TRAVELISTA. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  17. ^ "Where are the Kilometer 0s in the Philippines?". Penfires. February 6, 2017. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  18. ^ "PH Kilometer Zero: Reference Point – Rebuilding After Disasters". Penfires. June 5, 2014. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  19. ^ "How Far Have I Gone: KM 0 (Tacloban City)". LEGENDHARRY. June 1, 2012. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  20. ^ Cai Weiqi (蔡偉祺) and Cai Wenju (蔡文居) (October 7, 2012). "台灣公路原點 就在監察院前人行道" (in Chinese). The Liberty Times. Archived from the original on February 2, 2014.
  21. ^ Jacobs, Karrie (April 2, 2009). "The New Time Warner Center". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  22. ^ Garlock, Stephanie (June 2, 2014). "The Sign Says You've Got 72 Miles to Go Before the End of Your Road Trip. It's Lying". CityLab. Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  23. ^ "Kilómetro cero en Plaza Cagancha". Junta Departamental de Montevideo. March 25, 2010. Archived from the original on June 29, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2011.