Pulkovo Observatory

Pulkovskaya observatoriya

The famous Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences is the largest Russian astronomical institution. It was established in 1839 by the imperial order of Nikolai I. The observatory was designed by famous architect Alexander Brullov, brother of the artist Karl Brullov.

This once was a working station of a scientist and a popular Russian writer Boris Strugatsky, who together with his brother Arkady created several dozens of literary pieces which have already become the classics of modern science and social fiction.

The first museum of the Pulkovo Observatory was established back in 1884. During World War II the Observatory’s buildings were completely destroyed, but most of its equipment was rescued. Unfortunately, many of the Museum’s exhibits did not survive either. The current exposition of the Astronomical Museum was recreated in the 1960s. It is displayed in the Round Hall of the Observatory’s main building. It is through the centre of this Hall where the famous Pulkovo Meridian runs.

Visitors of the Museum will see unique exhibits illustrating the development of Russian astronomical science in the 19th and 20th centuries, measuring and computing tools, geodetic devices, optics of the biggest telescopes of the 19th and 20th centuries, astronomical clock and many other items. The tour also includes demonstration of the main modern Observatory’s equipment: the 26-inch refracting telescope, the Great Pulkovo Radio Telescope and the sun telescope. The guests will also take a walk in the Observatory’s own park. Every autumn the Observatory holds a trash bash event dubbed AstroOpenAir, after which all the participants are invited for a free tour of the Museum.

Address: Pulkovskoye Hwy, 65 (Pulkovskoye shosse, 65)
Opening hours: only organized groups guided by the observatory’s scientific staff members are allowed. Individual visitors are not allowed to join the pre-ordered tours. The tours are done from Monday to Saturday between 10 am and 4 pm. The Museum is closed on Sundays and public holidays. Tours can be booked after the 15th of every month for the following month.
How to reach: from Moskovskaya metro station proceed by bus 155, 150, 90, 301 or 431
Coordinates: 59.77226, 30.32617