Geographical Centre of Europe

The Carpathians

Fifteen kilometres southwest of Rakhiv lies what Ukraine contends is Europe's geographical centre, just before the village of Dilove. Ukraine is not the only country to declare itself the continent's centre: Germany, Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia have all staked rival claims. Furthermore, Austrian experts claim the pillar erected by Austro-Hungarian geographers in 1887, in what is now back-country Ukraine, was never intended to mark Europe's middle; its Latin inscription was mistranslated.

None of this has dented official Ukrainian aspirations to the honour, although some locals are more sceptical. A Soviet-era spire joined the Austro-Hungarian pillar at the 'geographical centre of Europe' in the 1980s – a restaurant complex and souvenir stalls are more recent additions.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Carpathians attractions

1. Carpathian Biosphere Reserve

4.21 MILES

Declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve in 1992, this protected area is made up of six separate locations, four of which can be found around Rakhiv. Some 90%…

2. Museum of Mountain Ecology

4.23 MILES

This old-school museum stands on the hill behind the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve headquarters building. The exhibition is surprisingly informative, rich…

3. Village Museum

12.21 MILES

Allow two to three hours to wander through the incredible constructions at the open-air Village Museum, about 2.5km southeast of Sighetu Marmaţiei's…

4. Elie Wiesel Memorial House

13.85 MILES

The late Jewish writer and 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel (1928–2016) was born in and later deported from this house on the corner of Str…

6. Sephardic Synagogue


Sighet’s only remaining synagogue is north of Piaţa Libertăţii. It was built in the Moorish-Renaissance style in 1904. You can look around for free, but…

7. Jewish Community Centre

14.01 MILES

Next door to the Sephardic synagogue is this Jewish Community Centre, where you can also arrange to visit the town’s Jewish Cemetery.