HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY announced on 27 September 1908
This is the Vienna University Observatory 25 years after its opening at the new site in the outskirts of the bustling and noisy city of Vienna, full of street lights disturbing the darkness and the vision of the nocturnal skies.
After 25 years, the tiny trees that had been planted already began to outdo the building in height.
Here is one of the first postcards of the majestic building, the image taken probably around 1900, judging from the growth of the plants.
The following engraving should be among the very first images made of the Observatory, it is dated 1878. Here you see its full majesty. A palace, a castle rather than just an observatory. No wonder it was the best and foremost observatory of its time.
This is the view of the Sternwarte or Observatory dome in June 2016, the year when the University celebrates its Observatory’s 133 birthday.
The majestic staircase was still lit up by lamps hanging down low on long structures from the enormous height of the ceiling.
The architect had been famous for building grand theatres or opera houses,
and this is what the entrance stairways comes very close to. What we can also notice, the bust of Emperor Franz Joseph has already been put in place, just a little while ahead of this photograph. It was to commemorate the 60th anniversary since the Emperor had climbed the throne.
Today, the hallway looks like this: The long lamps are gone, and a handrail has been put in place. Otherwise, not much that has changed.
The library is an altogether different matter. The room exudes an atmosphere of scholarly pleasure which can hardly be surpassed. This is exactly the kind of room I would stay in forever, studying without fail, while absorbing its flawless beauty. Opening up every single one of those old treasured books, to learn about the times when they were written.
This library will get a story of its own, I promise!
This is a “photographic telescope” donated to the Observatory by Baron Rothschild, who had a great love for astronomy.
Now please enjoy the images of the interior of the domes, the main Cupola and the Western Dome, fully furnished with their original instruments, which are still in place to this day, just recently completely overhauled and are competing to reach their full scope.
And here is the beautiful treasure, at the transit of Mercury in May 2016.
133 Years Vienna University Observatory, Guided Tour to the 27 inch refractor by Grubb Dublin, made in 1878.
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