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Observatories that I have visited:
Stockholm's "new" Observatory, Sweden


1: Historical background

Far back in time Stockholm's Observatory was placed at the Observatory Hill at Odenplan in city of Stockholm (capital city of Sweden), where it had been since 1753. At 1920s they realized that light pollution was too bad to continue to operate here. A decision was taken to move out from central Stockholm to Saltsjöbaden, about 20 km southwest of Stockholm city.

You can also read my and Nippe's story about Stockholm's old Observatory here. They changed the name Stockholm's Observatory in Stockholm city to Stockholm's old Observatory when they built the "new" Stockholm's Observatory at Saltsjöbaden. It can be a bit confusing when looking in old books.

Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation contributed a great donation, which was an important part of the observatory to come true. One demand was that the new observatory must have the name Stockholm Observatory. The inauguration of the new observatory in Saltsjöbadens took place in 1931. The hill where the observatory is located has the name Karlsbaderberget. A big advantage of Saltsjöbaden was of course the proximity to City of Stockholm for the sake of transport. With today demands, however, were never chosen a place like Saltsjöbaden to build an observatory on, not even with the light conditions that prevailed in the 1930s.

The instruments that were at the old observatory at Odenplan was outdated and only a few were moved over to the new observatory at Saltsjöbaden.

Observatoriet flyttas. Bilden troligen publicerad i Svenska Dagbladet. Credit: Digitaltmuseum / Tekniska Museet
Photographer: Unknown
Observatoriet flyttas. Bilden troligen publicerad i Svenska Dagbladet.

The instruments were placed in the Meridian's house, which today is called "Radio building", a building that stands today to the club STAR's disposal. The construction of the new observatory was started in the end of 1920s, among the major new instruments that were purchased and buildings erected was a one meter reflecting telescope, one double refractor and the astrograph. Long later in the 1960s they adding the 1 meter Schmidt telescope.


Stockholm's Observatory at Saltsjöbaden

We started our walk at the harbor at Saltsjöbaden. The weather was perfect and we spend an hour walking around here.

Stockholm's Observatory at Saltsjöbaden

Autumn has come, with that all the beautiful colors of the nature.

Stockholm's Observatory at Saltsjöbaden

A view from Saltsjöbaden's harbour, at top of the hill you can see the Stockholm's Observatory. The main building with the double refractor at center and the Newton telescope building to the left. The mountain has the name, Karlsbaderberget.

A short video about the observatorium:

Stockholm's Observatory at Saltsjöbaden

We leave the harbor and head for the observatory.

Karlsbaderberget and Stockholm's Observatory:

They had their own metrological weather station at the observatory. To do astronomical observations it's very important to have high quality weather observations and weather forecasts.

Stockholm's Observatory at Saltsjöbaden, Weather station

I don't know if the weather station is in use today, probably not.

Stockholm's Observatory is a very special place for me, because between 1993 to 1999 I got my education in astrophysics here. When looking at internet there are almost no pages with photos of this observatory, with these pages with photos and information I change that.

If you find the Swedish history about observatories interesting there is a copy of the book De Astronomiska Observatorierna i Sverige (Swedish). Written by the astronomer Östen Bergstrand, born 1873, page 252 to 256 about Stockholm's Observatory:

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