Saltsjöbaden Observatory – Stockholm, Sweden - Atlas Obscura

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Saltsjöbaden Observatory

Once the world's most modern observatory, this building is now a private school. 


The Stockholm Observatory dates back to the 18th century, when it was established on a hill outside of the city that is now considered central Stockholm. In the 1930s, astronomers moved even further to a peninsula on the Baltic Sea called Saltsjöbaden. 

The observatory was funded by a donation from the Wallenberg family, which allowed for a much bigger building and instruments, launching Swedish astronomy to the forefront. The crown jewels of the observatory were a 40-inch (102-centimeter) Grubb reflector and a 24/20-inch Grubb double refractor. The former was one of the world’s largest telescopes when it was inaugurated in 1931. 

The astronomy department stayed at this location until 2001, when it moved to its current location in the AlbaNova building. Today, the Saltsjöbaden Observatory building is a private school, but the telescopes are maintained by amateurs.

Know Before You Go

During the weekends the area is free to walk around in, but the telescopes are only accessible when you are with those who maintain them.

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