Royal Observatory of Madrid

Royal Observatory of Madrid
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The Royal Observatory of Madrid is a historic observatory located near the Retiro Park. It is the seat of the Spanish National Astronomical Observatory and the Observatorio Geofísico Central, both administered by the National Geographic Institute.

It represents one of the highlights of Spanish neoclassical architecture.

The observatory was designed by Juan de Villanueva, architect to Charles IV of Spain, It represents one of the highlights of Spanish neoclassical architecture. Its domed lantern was conceived as a classical circular temple. It was completed in 1790 and took over some of the work previously done by the naval observatory in Cadiz.

Shortly after construction, the observatory was equipped with a 8 meters long reflecting telescope by William Herschel. The instrument was dismantled in the Peninsular War and only partially survived. It has been reconstructed in recent years and can be viewed along with other historic scientific equipment. There is also a library.

Unfortunately, Madrid is affected by light pollution and is not a good location for optical astronomy.

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Website (Spanish only): IGN: Visitas al real Observatorio de Madrid

Getting here

Metro: L1 (Atocha)

Regional trains (Cercanías): C1, C2, C3, C4, C5 (Atocha Cercanías)

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