Central European Time

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Central European Time ( CET , English Central European Time , CET is) dedicated to the 15th longitude relating eastern standard time , the (medium) in all European countries, which by this time zone to be covered and additionally in the Benelux countries , France and Spain is used as the legally valid time during the winter months and all year round in parts of Africa . It corresponds to the mean solar time on the longitude 15 ° East. The difference between Central European time and world time UTC is +1 hour, which is expressed in the abbreviation UTC + 1 with +1.

The difference between Central European Summer Time ( CEST ), which replaces CET during the summer half-year in Europe, and UTC is +2 hours. The CEST has the abbreviation UTC + 2 and corresponds to the mean solar time on the longitude 30 ° East.

Validity area

Memorial stone, which symbolizes the course of the 15th meridian, in Görlitz , the easternmost city in Germany

With the entry into force of the law concerning the introduction of a uniform time determination , Central European time was set as the standard time for the entire German Empire on April 1, 1893 . Since the decisive 15th degree of longitude east crosses the city of Görlitz , it was also referred to as the Görlitz era when it was introduced . In Switzerland , Central European time was determined by resolutions of the federal and cantonal executives in 1894 for the official clocks and subsequently established itself as the national time through custom; a legal regulation did not take place until 1981.

Hypothetical time zones in Europe if the principle that a country uses the time zone in which most of the country is located were consistently applied. Legend as in the map above. Portugal and Ireland could even use the Azorean time. The Kaliningrad Oblast was considered separately and added to the CET

In Europe, the following cities are located on the meridian of longitude 15 ° - that is, CET and mean solar time are the same here:

The ideal western limit of the underlying time zone to the UTC + 0 time zone runs at longitude 7.5 ° East, i.e. through Dortmund (with the center being on the other side of the line) and a little west of Strasbourg , so it becomes clear in many Western European countries with CET exceeded. In the Benelux countries , in France and in Spain, Greenwich Mean Time (UTC) and in Galicia the Azores time ( UTC − 1 ) would correspond more to the local solar time .

The ideal eastern limit (22.5 ° East) of the time zone to the UTC + 2 time zone runs near the city of Lublin in eastern Poland. It is only significantly exceeded in the north of Norway (the most easterly place Vardø is 31 ° 6 ′ even 1 ° 6 ′ east of the meridian for Eastern European Time , UTC + 2 ).

The area of ​​application of the CET extends in Central Europe in the winter half-year from Cape Touriñán in Spain (9 ° 17 ′ west) to the Bug River near Hrubieszów in Poland (24 ° 10 ′ east), in the sub-polar region even to Vardø in Norway (31 ° 6 ′ east) ). The ideal latitude difference of 15 ° is clearly exceeded with almost 33.5 ° and almost 39.5 °. The difference between zone time and mean solar time at the edges of the actual time zone is correspondingly large: more than + 1 12  hours (in summer + 2 12  hours) at Cape Touriñán, around −1 hour in Vardø and around half an hour in Eastern Poland. In the summer half of the year, UTC + 1 is found in Europe on the British Isles and in Portugal as Western European summer time.

Several African countries lie in the same time zone, for example Angola , Benin , Cameroon , Libya , Niger , Nigeria , Chad , the Central African Republic , the Republic of the Congo and the western part of the Dem. Rep. Congo .

In the Federal Republic of Germany , the law on units in metrology and time determination currently specifies CET as the legal time in accordance with Section 4 , unless summer time has been introduced. It is broadcast via the long wave transmitter DCF77 in Mainflingen , whose time signal comes from an atomic clock of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Braunschweig. So-called radio clocks can receive this time signal transmitter . In Switzerland , the Federal Law on Metrology of June 17, 2011 applies , where Article 15 defines Central European Time.


Countries in which Central European (Summer) Time is or has been used.

Introduction until World War II

The map from 1894 shows that the German Empire at that time fit almost seamlessly into the ideal time zone of 15 ° East ± 7.5 °.

Introduction in World War II

Introduction after the Second World War

  • Monaco : 1945
  • Andorra : 1946
  • Gibraltar : 1957
  • Great Britain and Ireland : 1968–1971 British Summer Time / Irish Standard Time all year round
  • Portugal : 1966–1976 and 1992–1996: Portugal introduced the CET to intensify trade relations with Spain and France.

Web links

Commons : Central European Time  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

further reading

  • Breusing: railroad time . In: Röll, Freiherr von (Ed.): Enzyklopädie des Eisenbahnwesens , Volume 4, Berlin and Vienna 1913, pp. 149–152.

Individual evidence

  1. Uli Kulke: From the sundial to world time . In: taz . March 25, 1989, p. 3 ( online ).
  2. Marc Tribelhorn: The dawn of a new time - how Switzerland synchronized its clocks with the world 125 years ago. nzz.ch, May 27, 2019.
  3. Federal law on metrology of June 17, 2011. admin.ch (accessed on May 27, 2019).
  4. On May 15, 1931 (Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (Ed.): Official Gazette of the Reichsbahndirektion Mainz of May 23, 1931, No. 25. Announcement No. 392, p. 187).
  5. Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (Ed.): Official Gazette of the Reichsbahndirektion Mainz of June 6, 1931, No. 27. Announcement No. 419, p. 200.
  6. Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (ed.): Official Gazette of the Reichsbahndirektion Mainz of June 27, 1931, No. 31. Announcement No. 459, p. 222.
  7. Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft (ed.): Official Gazette of the Reichsbahndirektion Mainz of October 3, 1931, No. 46. Announcement No. 650, p. 307.
  8. Lighter nights would keep youngsters fitter and safer, say doctors… = Western Mail, June 27, 2005, accessed January 6, 2019 .
  9. It's Time For A Change To Save Lives And Reduce Injuries. Press release from October 22, 2008, RoSPA Press Office ( Memento from September 18, 2012 in the web archive archive.today ).
  10. ^ British Summer Time (BST) and the Daylight Saving Time plan. National Maritime Museum , accessed January 13, 2011; Compare in detail also the engl. Wikipedia: British Summer Time .