Panoramica nocturna738x246
07 Aug 2012 1 comment Redacció

Reaching for the stars

If you grab a map of the sky and patiently sit on a mountaintop, you will be as far from the stars as ever. Not even if you avoid the pollution of the big cities as the experts say. Our eyesight can’t reach too far. That’s why there’s nothing like a good telescope to discover the secrets of the universe. It’s the only door for the common man to galaxies and constellations. So, if you feel like watching the stars, and are in Barcelona or nearby, you could always head over to the Observatory Fabra.

The dome of the Fabra observatory and the starry sky of Barcelona

A little bit of history

In 1895, the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of Barcelona submitted to the Diputació de Barcelona, a local government body, an ambitious plan to build an observatory on the slopes of Tibidabo, the hill encircling Barcelona. It was to be designed by architects Josep Domènech i Estapà and Eduard Fontserè. Unfortunately the project ran into financial trouble, mainly due to a competing initiative, also on the Tibidabo hill: The building of the Temple of Sagrat Cor.

The entrance to the observatory

However, seven years later, thanks to the persistence and generosity of Mr. Camil Fabra the project became a reality. Once finished, the observatory quickly became part of the city’s skyline and a hub for research in astronomy, meteorology and seismology… to this day.

The Boardroom

Many options to visit

If you are fascinated by the mechanics and technology behind a large telescope, Sundays and holidays from 11 am to 12:30 pm are your best options. Scientists who work there provide detailed information about the inner workings and nature of the research conducted there. Obviously, the highlight of the visit is entering the modernist-style room where they have the two centenarian telescopes. But more fun is to hear them tell stories of how the scientists lived in those quarters at the dawn of the twentieth century.

 The telescope

Alfons Puertas, the meteorologist of the observatory isn’t shy about why the morning sessions are the best option to visit the observatory: “It is the most economical way to get to know the facility, period. Tickets are 2 euros and the visit lasts for an hour and a half. You will see things you can’t even imagine.”

Please note that this morning visits aren’t available during the month of August. Oh, and there is no need to make a reservation.

They also organize guided tours for groups and schools.

And finally, a curious note: Every week they update their meteorology photo album with new images. You can check it out here:


  1. Marc (Català) va dir això el 28 Aug 2012

    Mirar les estrelles ha estat sempre el meu passatemps favorit. Recomano l’Observatori Fabra i tots els professionals que hi treballen per la seva gran atenció i els seus grans coneixements d’astronomia.

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