De Maupertuis The degree measurements by de Maupertuis in the Tornionlaakso Valley 1736-1737
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The degree measurements by de Maupertuis

Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis made an expedition to the Tornionlaakso Valley in 1736 – 1737. His aim was by measuring a degree of latitude along a line of longitude to investigate whether the earth was flattened at its poles. King Louis XV of France financed the expedition that carried out the measurements during one year, an amazing achievement considering the instruments and methods of the time.

The expedition drew attention to Northern Scandinavia in Central Europe. The journals and research literature offered the contemporaries access to the life in the Tornionlaakso Valley. For later generations up to the present times these works have supplied detailed information of the life, housing, customs and people of the 18th century. Inspired by the works of de Maupertuis and Outhier many travellers have set out for the Tornionlaakso Valley. In the vicinity of Tornio Church and on the top of the Kittisvaara fell in Pello monuments have been erected to commemorate the expedition led by de Maupertuis. The motif of the coat of arms of Pello municipality has been inspired by the expedition.

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