Kilometre Zero

Kilometre Zero

In many countries, Kilometre Zero (also written "km 0") or similar terms in other languages, is a particular location (often in the nation's capital city), from which distances are traditionally measured. A similar notion also exists for individual roads (that is, all locations on the road have a number, depending on their distance from that location), and for individual cities (often the city's central post office is used for this).

The most famous such marker of which any part survives from ancient times is the Milliarium Aureum ("Golden Milestone") of the Roman Empire, believed to be the literal origin for the maxim that "all roads lead to Rome."



Chile's Autopista Central (the Chilean portion of the Panamerican Highway) has its Kilometre Zero at the intersection with the Alameda del Libertador Bernardo O'Higgins.


China Railways' 0km is located at the entrance to the Fengtai Yard on the Jingguang Line just outside of Beijing. This point was historically the start of the line; the marker is a simple concrete marker, with "0" painted on it. There is no ceremonial plaque.


Cuba's Kilometre Zero is located in its capital Havana in El Capitolio. Embedded in the floor in the centre of the main hall is a replica 25 carat (5 g) diamond, which marks Kilometre Zero for Cuba. The original diamond, said to have belonged to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and have been sold to the Cuban state by a Turkish merchant, was stolen on 25 March 1946 and mysteriously returned to the President, Ramón Grau San Martín, on 2 June 1946. It was replaced in El Capitolio by a replica in 1973.


Kilometre Zero of French national highways, located in Paris on the square facing the main entrance of Notre Dame cathedral, and considered the official centre of the city of Paris.


:"Main article: Zero Kilometre Stone (Budapest)"

The Zero Kilometre in Budapest is marked by a monument, forming the number "zero". The starting point was initially reckoned from the threshold of the Buda Royal Palace, but it was taken down to the Széchenyi Chain Bridge when it was built in 1849.


The resting place of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi (known as Raj Ghat) is the point from which all highway distances are measured. The Raj Ghat has a milestone at its entrance that reads "0 KM".


The Italian Kilometre Zero is located on the top of the Capitoline Hill, in Rome.


The nihongo|Kilometre Zero of Japan|日本国道路元標|Nipponkoku Dōro Genpyō is on the middle of Nihonbashi bridge in Tokyo. Tokyo Station is considered the originating point of the national railway network and has several posts and monuments indicating zero kilometre of lines originating from the station.


The Panamanian Kilometre Zero is located at the Martin Sosa Bridge on the Simon Bolivar Avenue (Transisthmian Highway) in Panama City.


The big flagpole west of the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park is Kilometer Zero for road distances on the island of Luzon and the rest of the Philippines.


:"Main article: Kilometre Zero (Bucharest)"The Kilometre Zero of Romania is marked by a monument located in front of Saint George's Church in central Bucharest.


The bronze plaque marking Russia's Kilometre Zero is located in Moscow, just in front of the Iberian Chapel, in a short passage connecting Red Square with Manege Square and flanked by the State Historical Museum and the City Duma.


Slovakia has its Kilometre Zero in Bratislava under Michael's Gate in the Michalská veža (St. Michael's tower).


Spain has its Kilometre Zero in the centre of the Puerta del Sol in Madrid (incidentally, the clock of the old Royal House of the Post Office, in front of which the plaque is located, marks the official time in Spain, according to the urban legend). The plaque that marks this point was turned around 180 degrees in 2002, because the map of Spain depicted on it was upside-down in relation to reality.


Switzerland's Kilometer Null is located in Olten. It was made in the 19th century to mark the point from where the Swiss railway system was measured. Because of the dimension of the Swiss railway system its Kilometer Null is not in use anymore.

United Kingdom

Although the term Kilometre Zero is not used in the United Kingdom, all distances from London are measured from Charing Cross, making this effectively London's Kilometre Zero.

United States

The metric system is not the common system in the United States, but Pierre Charles L'Enfant, the original architect of Washington, D.C., proposed an otherwise unnamed reference marker in the form of a pole to be located one mile east of the Capitol that was never built. Although not generally used for measurement on United States roads, the Zero Milestone near the White House was proposed in 1919 and a permanent marker placed in 1923 by the federal government, funded by the Good Roads Movement.


"Kilometer Zero" is also the name of a literary journal once published from the famous book shop Shakespeare and Company.

The 2000 film "Km. 0" was a romantic comedy set in Madrid.


ee also

*Milliarium Aureum
*Zero Milestone
*Zero Kilometre Stone (Budapest)
*London Stone
*Datum (geodesy)

External links

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