Helsinki University Observatory housed the Department of Astronomy at the University of Helsinki, south Finland until end of 2009. It is now an astronomy-themed visitor centre and museum.Use our Helsinki day trip planner to arrange your visit to Helsinki Observatory and other attractions in Helsinki.
The Helsinki astronomical observatory was designed in cooperation by professor Friedrich Wilhelm Argelander and architect Carl Ludvig Engel. The building was finished in 1834. The instruments and astronomical books that had escaped the great fire in Turku were transferred to Helsinki. 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. It houses the double refractor, two 0.33 meter refractor telescopes mounted together. One of the telescopes is built to be fitted with an eyepiece and the other with a photographic plate.
The observatory is located in the city centre and has not been in active use since the mid-20th century. Another observatory with a 60-centimeter telescope was built in Metsähovi, Kirkkonummi in the 1970s. The Metsähovi Radio Observatory was built around the same time and is the centre for the radio astronomical research of Aalto University.
The Department of Astronomy was merged into the Department of Physics at the beginning of 2010 and the astronomers moved to the Kumpula campus. The observatory building was thoroughly renovated and re-opened as a museum and visitor centre in 2012. The building also now houses the amateur astronomy association Ursa.
Helsinki Observatory Reviews
A straight line opens from the gates of the Observatory along Unioninkatu all the way to Kallio church visible in the distance. The creator of the Empire center of Helsinki C.L. Engel designed in 1834... more »
Itse museo on melko pieni, mutta toki mielenkiintoista katsottavaa. 8-vuotiaskin tykkäsi, kun sai kokeilla juttuja. Itse rakennus on hieno ja oli mukavaa, että myös rakennuksen historiasta oli kertomu... more »The museum itself is quite small, but, of course, the interesting thing to watch. 8-vuotiaskin liked it, when I got to try out stuff. The building itself is a fine and it was nice that the building's history was the stories on the walls. We went at the same time, on the first Saturday of the month at the star in the night sky. It was very nice, informative and fun enough "in the vernacular". Kids and adults loved it.
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.
Smal but informativ. Lots of Finnish astronomy history and interactive information about today's astronomy research. And off course some really old telescopes.
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