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


4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Eva ka (Evak) (3 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 (3 years ago)
A great guide and insight into finnish astronomy :)
Olivia Harmon (3 years ago)
The museum showcases many beautiful old telescopes and other astronomical instruments, but the highlight in my eyes is the 4-billion-year-old iron meteorite piece from the Campo del Cielo.
Aleksi Lausti (3 years ago)
Great atmosphere along with historical astronomical devices and a little cafe in the courtyard. Not a long time needed to see the museum but sitting outside enjoying a beverage is very relaxing providing the weather is nice.
A.T. S (3 years ago)
Small compact museum. Lots of stairs. Nice surroundings. Nice Park. Bit small exhibition. Store has many books In museum. Worth to visit
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