To be honest, that is a question I never had until I visited the World Heritage region Wartburg-Hainich. I had heard of places like the Greenwich meridian or of traditions that come with crossing the equator or the arctic circle. Do they do something like that in the middle of Germany, too?

How is the geographic centre of a country calculated?

My research showed that there are different methods to calculate the geographic centre and all of them result in a different place. I am not going to explain exactly how it is done, it is just too much math. It is surprising, though, which formula brings out which spot as the exact centre.

Calculating a point of intersection takes the most northern point and the most southern point and connects them with a straight line. This line will intersect with a second line drawn from the most eastern point to the most western point and the intersection turns out the centre…. In Besse near Kassel. One possible centre of Germany.

Using the lines of latitude and longitude results in a different centre… Niederdorla in Thuringia. The second possible centre of Germany.

There is another method with uses the geometric centre, sometimes taking bodies of water into account, sometimes leaving them out. And the method that uses math to determine the minimum distance to the German border. And these produce centres in Flinsberg, Silberhausen, Landstreit, Krebeck, …

This is chaos! That makes the calculation of the centre of the earth seem easy.

This doesn’t even take into account how Germany’s borders moved over the course of history and with them the geographic centre.

My visit to one geographic centre of Germany

There is a region in Germany called Unstrut-Hainich, in Thuringia. There, between the towns Oberdorla and Niederdorla lies the intersection of the lines of latitude and longitude that frame Germany.

middle of Germany

And in this location, there actually is a rock to mark the centre as well as a tree on a small square. There is no set tradition that dictates what to do when visiting the centre of Germany. If there was, that would be a good opportunity to stand out from all the other centres! It would certainly make the place a little more interesting.

Adress:

Straße zum Mittelpunkt
99986 Vogtei – OT Niederdorla

Google Maps

By loading the map, you agree to Google's privacy policy.
Learn more

Load map

I visited the centre of Germany as part of a PR trip. The article reflects my own personal opinion.

13 Comments

  1. Annick Lenoir-Peek on 27. December 2019 at 13:14

    I’ve never even thought of where the middle of a country was located. I wonder how many other countries mark such a place. Anything to bring attention to a town!



  2. Sage on 25. December 2019 at 22:14

    As someone who lives in the center of the US, I have a soft spot for places like this!



  3. Michael Hodgson on 25. December 2019 at 1:12

    There is no set tradition that dictates what to do when visiting the centre of Germany? WHAT???!!! We must start one immediately. I would suggest upon visiting any of the centers (or centres) of Germany, one should consume at least one pint of locally brewed beer on the designated spot, preferrably with friends. And no, this is not an Instagram moment dammit. ;-)



  4. Susanne Jungbluth on 24. December 2019 at 10:20

    :)



  5. Carol Colborn on 24. December 2019 at 1:03

    The center of the United States moved as states got added. The center of the contiguous 48 is near Lebanon, Kansas and there is a marker there. But we went to the center of the US that includes Alaska and Hawaii. This center is near Belle Fourche, South Dakota. The marker there is much bigger,



  6. Danik on 23. December 2019 at 21:43

    I know the answer straight away! Its where the big M on the word Germany is on the map at the top of the post. :D But seriously, I have never heard of this question on my travels to Germany before and you got me thinking also. I dont think there is a way of really finding out the answer to this because of the weird shape Germany is today (but what would happen if someone asked this question in the early 1900s…the country was even more weridly shaped. :O (Sorry, was watching a lot of youtube videos of old country borders recently). Havent been to the part of Germany you went but if I was in the area, I might do a stop off. :)



  7. Travel with Mei and Kerstin on 23. December 2019 at 14:45

    Haha! We had absolutely no idea that there’s something like the middle of Germany! Since we’re from Luxembourg, we travel to Germany quite often, Next time we’ll stop there on our way to Nurnberg!



  8. Susanne Jungbluth on 23. December 2019 at 13:06

    We traveled in the area of Wartburg-Hainich National Park.



  9. Susanne Jungbluth on 23. December 2019 at 13:05

    That’s right. Normaly everybody is writing about the big citys. But there someso nice unknown areas in Germany.



  10. Sandra Papas on 23. December 2019 at 2:45

    Funny, we just visited the middle of Australia – Uluru. Hard to miss that one!
    This part of Germany sounds quite interesting. Not the areas I typically see written about.



  11. Jamie Italiane on 23. December 2019 at 1:35

    Who was the PR trip through? That is an interesting place to bring you to. Did you make up a dance?



  12. Linda (LD Holland) on 22. December 2019 at 19:21

    Germany is one of the countries still on our travel wish list. So good to get a bit of a primer on geography. Interesting to read that there is a rock to mark the centre of Germany.



  13. samantha karen on 22. December 2019 at 17:41

    So interesting! I’d never known where to the geographic center of Germany was but now I do, thanks for sharing!



Leave a Comment