Thursday, March 12, 2009

Point Zero in Paris

Point Zero or Kilometer Zero in some countries, is that location chosen in a village, town, city that all distances are measured from.  For example, in the U.S., there is a Point Zero or Zero Milestone that is located near the White House.  Originally, it was built to have all distances in the country in accord with this particular spot.  Today, it is used mainly as the reference point for distances in the Washington, D.C. area.  Here in Chicago, our Point Zero is our city hall building.  City or town halls has become the traditional method of measuring miles between towns in our world.  

In Paris, their Point Zero is located in the square facing Notre Dame.  It is considered the center of the city and kilometers throughout France are measured accordingly from this point. Another interesting little fact for those of you who are familiar with that area (and now for those of you who are not) Kilometer Zero is the name of a literary journal that's published by Shakespeare and Company, the famous bookshop located right next to the square.  If you purchase a book there, they will stamp it with a commemorative symbol of being at Point Zero in Paris.  We have been sucked into that deal numerous times now and have practically a whole shelf of books purchased and symbolically stamped.  You'd think we would have learned the first time, wouldn't you?

Photo credit: wikipedia

1 comment:

Phivos Nicolaides said...

I have been there Kim and I much enjoyed the place!