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Ludbreg, Croatia

Ludbreg's 'Center of the World'

Colorful concentric circles honor a small Croatian town's supposed spot at the nucleus of it all. 

For the people of a small Croatian town, the world really does revolve around them. At least, that’s what their town’s nickname as the “Center of the World” will have them believe.

Ludbreg earned its moniker after a 19th-century Swiss doctor who, while playing around with a map, decided to draw concentric circles with the town as its center. His geographical doodling made him realize that several prominent cities happened to fall along the lines he had drawn and were at equal distances from Ludbreg. This discovery led him to declare the Croatian town was, in fact, the center of the world.

Though it may be an inaccurate geographical calculation, Ludbreg still takes pride in its alleged place at the nucleus of it all. In its main square, a monument of colorful, concentric circles spread from a plaque representing the town like rings wrapped around a planet. Markers depicting other cities speckle the display, arranged as if orbiting around the central stone.

The concentric circles aren’t the only way Ludbreg honors its prime location. On April 1, the town celebrates “Center of the World Day.” It’s a holiday full of fabulous festivities, where music blasts and people feast. The most impressive celebratory flair comes from the town fountain, which for just that one day bubbles with wine instead of water.