Observatory Hill

Helsinki, Finland

This 30 meters high rock hill was used as guard hill in the Middle Ages. If enemy ships were seen coming from the sea, fire was lighted to the hill to warn local people. After the great fire in Turku (1827), instruments and astronomical books of Turku University observatory were transferred to Helsinki.

The Helsinki astronomical observatory was built to the hill in 1834. It designed in cooperation by professor Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander and architect Carl Ludvig Engel. The observatory was among the most modern astronomical observatories of its time, and served as an example for several European observatories that were built afterwards. A separate tower was built in the observatory garden for the telescope designed for astrophotography. This building was finished in 1890.

At the top of the hill is is also situated Stigell’s monument Haaksirikkoiset (“shipwrecked”), erected in 1898. The sculpture is stretching to the west and increased the national spirit in the end of the 19th century.

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Details

Founded: 1834
Category:
Historical period: Russian Grand Duchy (Finland)

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tori Page (6 months ago)
Small but interesting little museum. The two gentlemen working there were helpful and keen to share their knowledge.
Juha Nurmonen (7 months ago)
History of this place cannot be forgotten when considering development of amateur and professional astronomy in Helsinki and in Finland. Fortunately one can visit the place and see it, old telescopes etc. Not good for people using a wheel chair. Home of many astronomical events, too.
Tomi Taskinen (7 months ago)
Fabulous place. Nice museum about astronomy in Finland, Ursa shop sell books and star gazing stuff and there is even interesting exhibition of current events in astronomy. There are also different free events in Helsinki Observatory.
Nicole Olson (8 months ago)
Lovely museum. Includes history from not only the observatory itself, but Finland's astronomy history as well. Old telescopes, clocks and records that are just amazing. Includes some more recent ESA and NASA related things as well.
Sandro Mathys (8 months ago)
Small but interesting museum (it you've never been in an astronomy muse before, at least). However, presentation is extremely dry.
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