Today, Greenwich is generally associated with the prime meridian, but this was not always the case. In fact, before Greenwich, this meridian was known as the prime prime meridian since the days of ancient Greece.
The idea of ââusing the world’s westernmost point for the zero meridian is an ancient concept, with evidence dating back to the time of Ptolemy. This westernmost point was located on the semi-mythical islands of the Blessed, which were believed to be the Canary Islands.
This meridian was then made official by France in 1634 under the reign of King Louis XIII. However, there was a problem. France did not actually use this location to calculate the meridian and simply ruled that it was 20 degrees west of Paris.
Other countries disagreed and a quarrel ensued. The Netherlands traced the meridian via Tenerife, Great Britain used Greenwich, and most other countries used their own capitals. Eventually, the title of Prime Meridian was given to Greenwich at the 1884 International Meridian Conference, however, the decision had some critics.
The Hierro meridian was almost forgotten after the decision, but not by the islanders. Anyone who visits the site today will find a large monument commemorating the site. A sign under the monument reads.
âPunta de Orchilla El Hierro The westernmost Spanish land. This monument was erected in memory of the El Hierro meridian, the origin of longitudes in the cartography of various European countries until the middle of the 19th century. Harbor master’s office of the Canary Islands on May 17, 1982.