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Observatory

Strasbourg Observatory, the third-largest astronomical telescope in France

Strasbourg Observatory is in the centre of the botanical garden and contains an astronomical telescope with a diameter of 487 mm and a focal length of 7 meters. It was built in 1881, on the city’s historical campus and was designed to help amplify the knowledge of students in science courses, which were introduced by the German authorities during the Reichsland period (1871-1918).

Built in the form of a Greek cross, the Observatory reflects the then prevailing trend for classical styles. Each of its 4 pediments features an allegorical carving relating to the role of the Observatory: Dawn, the Sun, the Moon and Aurora borealis. The building is crowned by a large iron cupola, weighing 34 tonnes and which originally was not motor-operated! In 1981, one of the rooms was turned into a planetarium, which still offers a large variety of educational shows. The Observatory also houses a splendid little museum, known as the crypt of stars, which boasts a considerable collection of old scientific instruments.

The Observatory is the headquarters of the CDS, the Strasbourg Centre for astronomical data, which contains a databank for centralising results of observations sent in by observatories from all over the world.

  • Tram C, E, or F - Observatoire
  • Bus 2 or 15 - Observatoire
  • Combined visit with the entrance of the planetarium
  • Observatoire
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Address

11 rue de l'Université
67000 Strasbourg

Phone : +33 (0)3 68 85 24 10

Site internet de l'Observatoire