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The Observatory

On this section of the website you can find more information about the Old Observatory and the current astronomy research institute.

The Old Observatory Leiden is a historical observatory that has housed the Leiden astronomers for over a century. The construction of the building marked the beginning of a flourishing period of Dutch astronomy and in the years of its use has provided many famous scientists with excellent research facilities. Albert Einstein, Jan-Hendrik Oort and Willem de Sitter are just a small selection of the great scientists who have worked here.

Nowadays there are still four historical telescopes in the domes of the Old Observatory that were once used by Leiden astronomers for research. Due to the increased light pollution and the the presence of much more modern telescopes abroad, the historic telescopes are no longer suitable for modern research. They are still used during guided tours, open evenings and other events.

Since the seventies of the twentieth century, the scientific institute Leiden Observatory of Leiden University is no longer located in the building that is now called the Old Observatory. Now astronomical research is carried out in two modern buildings in the Leiden Bio-Science park: the Huygens Laboratory and the Oort Building. Every year, many future astronomers are trained in these modern buildings while current astronomers conduct groundbreaking research.

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