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: Miscellaneous historic sites in Finland
Historical period: Russian Grand Duchy (Finland)

Rating

4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nina Biris (4 months ago)
An outstanding collection of the studies of astronomy in Helsinki along with a stylish display. Although a great sight to visit in the city, the café there was rather disappointing, with nothing more than buns, soup and a couple of drinks. Could have more variety, especially when visitors can get hungry after exploring the area.
Elena Soitu (5 months ago)
Small but interesting. Old different astronomical stuff.
Eva ka (Evak) (4 years ago)
Was very excited to go..but it's really small and you have to pay extra to go to the tower. Could have telescopes that people could use, also some kind of "space sand" or something like that for children to interract with. There are amazing museums in Finland from witch you can get plenty of ideas..so no stars
Eva ka (Evak) (4 years ago)
Was very excited to go..but it's really small and you have to pay extra to go to the tower. Could have telescopes that people could use, also some kind of "space sand" or something like that for children to interract with. There are amazing museums in Finland from witch you can get plenty of ideas..so no stars
Benjamin Warner (4 years ago)
A great guide and insight into finnish astronomy :)
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