Meridianen för den Akademiska Kvarten (The Real Meridian for the Academic Quarter) – Värmdö SO, Sweden - Atlas Obscura
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Meridianen för den Akademiska Kvarten (The Real Meridian for the Academic Quarter)

Värmdö SO, Sweden

A response to the wrongly placed meridian of the same name. 


The Academic Quarter is a long-standing tradition in academia. Originally, it was created because church bells were the only means of keeping time. It was understood that students had 15 minutes to get to class after the clock chimed a certain hour. Today, it’s still maintained in many universities to give students some time to park and find their classrooms. A tradition like that requires a monument.

In Lund, a plaque claims to mark the meridian that is exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes east of Greenwich, or 15 minutes past CET. However, a quick check on a GPS will show that this is not true at all, in fact, the sign is located nearly 23 minutes west of the proper location.

This injustice was not taken lightly by a couple of anonymous astronomers. They hung up a contesting sign at the correct location in the eastern part of the Stockholm Archipelago, on the island of Runmarö. The sign has the same text as its Lund counterpart, with the last line stating it was erected by anonymous astronomers. It does not mention the other sign, but is clearly a response. 

Although this sign is much less accessible than those in the center of Lund, it’s at least in the right place, even if placed out of spite.

Update as of October 2021: The sign is gone, but it’s still possible to find the tree and the nail that once attached the sign to it.


Know Before You Go

The sign is freely accessible, but you need to plan the trip as there is a ferry to keep in mind. The ferry costs 55sek one way. Check the time table before making the trip!

The tree can be found on the right side of the road where the pin is on the map in the direction from the ferry (Styrsvik brygga).

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