Kyiv Observatory and Museum of Astronomy

The Astronomical Observatory of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev or Kiev Observatory was founded in 1845. At first it was planned to place the observatory in the main building of the educational institution (as evidenced by the existing architectural designs of the building), but later they decided to build a separate building for it. This task was entrusted to Vincent Beretti, according to whose design it was built in 1841-1845 and officially opened on February 7, 1845.

The main building of the observatory was built in a simplified late classicism style and has the shape of an octagonal tower. The main entrance to the observatory faces south. On the western side of the building there is a hall along the meridian with an open terrace on which portable astronomical instruments were displayed. Four false columns with relief ornaments, a staircase with railings made of cast iron, and a stove covered with tiles with moldings are preserved in the central hall of the observatory. The architectural complex of the observatory was partially rebuilt in 1860-1890. During the Great Patriotic War, the main equipment of the observatory was evacuated to Sverdlovsk, all astronomers of military age went to the front, many of them died in battles for their homeland…

This is interesting!

1. The observatory staff discovered 2 comets, discovered and studied about 600 new dwarf galaxies, studied the influence of gravitational lensing on the observational characteristics of space objects, created a series of catalogs of the positions of stars and extragalactic radio sources, developed a theory of the glow of prominences, identified the role of coronal holes in the generation of the solar wind, the scientific concept of asteroid-meteor hazard is substantiated.
2. The hill on which the observatory is located is called Oleg’s grave – according to legend, it was here that the prophetic Oleg found his death from his horse.

The observatory took quite a long time to build – from 1946 to the 1960s. Now it occupies about 3 hectares of territory in the historical part of Kyiv. There is a main building, a pavilion with a meridian circle, a pavilion with a horizontal solar telescope, three brick pavilions, laboratories and living quarters. The astronomical museum deserves special attention. It has more than 20,000 exhibits related to science, technology and local history. There are old astronomical instruments here such as:
– a portable telescope made by Ertel in 1838;
– astrograph made by Repsold in 1895;
– meridian circle made by Repsold in 1870.
In 1892, in Kyiv, for the first time, spectra of the Sun were obtained with a spectroscope on an astrograph. Since 1923, solar active formations began to be regularly monitored.

University observatory status:
– June 1, 1979, by Decree No. 442 of the Council of Ministers of the Ukrainian SSR, the main building of the observatory was included in the National Register of Historical and Cultural Monuments as an architectural monument of national importance.
– February 1, 2007 The Expert Council of the State Service for the Protection of Cultural Heritage recognized the university observatory as a monument of science and technology. In 2008, it was included in the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On February 7, 2009, the Kiev Meridian was inaugurated.

The Astronomical Museum will introduce you to:
– history of the area,
– the history of the creation of St. Vladimir University in Kyiv and the construction of an astronomical observatory with it,
– the development of astronomical education and ideas about the Universe during the 19th-21st centuries,
– scientific instruments,
– scientific directions that were developed at the observatory,
– the fate of Kyiv astronomers,
– connections of the observatory with the scientific community and the local community.

Where is the Kiev Observatory and Museum of Astronomy?

Observatornaya street, 3
(044)486-39-10 (museum)