Pulkovo Observatory

Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory

St. Petersburg. Russia


1. The observatory was founded in 1839 by decree of Emperor Nicholas I

2. The main astronomical tools of the Observatory are 26-inch refractor telescope, Large Pulkovo Radio Telescope and Solar Telescope

3. The famous Pulkovo Meridian goes through Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory

4. The observatory is in the list of World Heritage sites under the protection of UNESCO


            Main (Pulkovo) Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences was founded in 1839 by decree of Emperor Nicholas I and was designed by architect Alexander Brullov.

            The main component of the excursion program for visitors of the Pulkovo Observatory is its Astronomical Museum, which exhibits reflect the history of the Russian astronomy of XIX-XX centuries. The museum is located in the Round Hall of the Main Building of the Observatory.

            The first museum of the Pulkovo Observatory ("Museum of Old Instruments") was founded in 1884 and includes more than 100 astronomical instruments of XVIII-XIX centuries. However, during the Great Patriotic War (World War II ), many exhibits of the museum were destroyed. The museum and its exhibits were again revived in the post-war period in 1967. Today, visitors can see the unique exhibits of the museum - the geodetic instruments, measuring and computer equipment, with the optics of the largest telescopes of XIX-XX, collection of astronomical clocks, portraits of astronomers and scientists of the past centuries;they can see the centre of the Round Hall where the famous Pulkovo Meridian goes through.

            Excursion program let the visitors get acquainted with the main functioning instruments of the Observatory - 26-inch refractor telescope, the Large Pulkovo Radio Telescope, Solar Telescope and observatory park. Each year, the Observatory is visited by about 15,000 tourists and guests of St. Petersburg. Main (Pulkovo) Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, remaining the largest astronomical institution in Russia, was included in the code of the most valuable cultural heritage sites of the peoples of the Russian Federation by Presidential Decree of 1998 and entered the World Heritage List under the protection of UNESCO.


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