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  • Writer's pictureSanni & Gerri@

(Almost) so close to the equator.

North of Quito is the equatorial monument Mitad del Mundo - the center of the world. In 1736, it was built by the Frenchman Charles-Marie de La Condamine. He was the first European to determine an exact position of the equator. Unfortunately, he had mis-measured himself "a little" at the time. The correct equator is actually 240 meters further north. That certainly wouldn't have happened to Humboldt. :-)

Well, somehow it is a pity if you know this. The yellow line from west to east is intended to represent the course of the equator between the two halves of the earth and allow each leg to be placed on one side of the world. In reality, however, you stand with both feet in the southern hemisphere. Of course, we did it anyway and simply swept the fact that the monument is actually 240 meters from the real equator under the table. By chance, on the other hand, a paraglider near Mitad del Mundo, on Mount Catequilla, discovered the remains of a building from the Preinca period. This is intended to mark the equator more precisely and was already built over 1000 years ago. In the photos of the roof terrace you can see the mountain in the background and the point marked on it!

Or you can go to the nice elder gentleman in the souvenir shop 18b. He knows exactly where the "real" center runs: directly through his house. He documented this to us quite euphorically by video proof with a GPS device. Of course, he also drew a line in his living room. Only that all tourists still prefer to pilgrimage to the fake center instead of to his house, he thought that was stupid.

Wherever the real center lies; Ecuador is definitely the only area in the world where the equator runs at fixed, natural landmarks - namely the peaks of the Andes. Hence the name Ecuador, according to the equatorial line that runs through the national territory. So if there is enough time, "La Mitad del Mundo" is worth a visit.


*The English version of this blog is supported by automated translation*

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