Built between 1919 and 1922, the Einstein Tower is a solar observatory located on Telegraph Hill within the Albert Einstein Science Park in Potsdam. It was built as part of a collaboration between the architect Erich Mendelsohn and astrophysicist Erwin Finlay Freundlich and the Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein, which the building is named after and whose bust by Kurt Harald Isenstein (1928) stands at the entrance.
Freundlich, who worked at the Babelsberg Observatory near Potsdam, and Einstein pursued work on the general theory of relativity. To support the work and help with proving and testing the theory, Feundlich urged his friend Mendelsohn to design a suitable observatory in Potsdam. Seeing the project as a new challenge that would help him gain international recognition, Mendelsohn agreed to design the observatory. Einstein's position as a respected scientist provided a way to attract financiers for the project.
Scientific instruments were installed two years after the construction of the building was completed. The observatory became operational in December 1924, although the initial objective to find evidence of displacement of spectral lines in the gravitational field of the sun failed. Nevertheless, work at the observatory provided important contributions to research in the field.
The bright Einstein Tower is a fine example of expressionist architecture with Art Nouveau features. Mendelsohn was largely left to create his own design for the observatory. Focusing less on the building’s function, Mendelsohn wanted the observatory to reflect an organic architectural style where the building stood in harmony with the surrounding landscape. The scientific requirements of the observatory made it necessary to build the telescope on its own foundation, while the building was designed to be more as a protective cover.
Originally, the Einstein Tower was to be made of reinforced concrete. Ultimately this could not be possible due to construction difficulties, the complex design and lack of supplies. As a result, parts of the observatory were built using bricks and covered with stucco. During the construction phase and after its completion, the building suffered repeated damage that required extensive repairs. From 1997 to 1999, the Einstein Tower was fully renovated. Today, the building is home to the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics and it remains in use as an observatory. The Einstein Tower also houses a leading solar research facility.
The Einstein Tower is well worth a visit, even from the outside. Due to ongoing research work, access to the observatory is limited. Visitors wishing to explore the interior can book tours between March and October.
Events in Potsdam
ticket salesMusic Festival in Potsdam
The Music Festival in Potsdam will be held again in June. This year's theme "Music and gardens" ubiquitous. So even on the opening day in June. Interesting and unique you can take guided tours and visits to many different places. For those interested there is an Opera Workshop.TICKETS
Details about the Music Festival in Potsdam can be found here.The concert on the eve and Night of the Palaces in Potsdam
The Park of Sanssouci and Sanssouci Palace with its terraced vineyards and the New Palace are undisputedly the most important monuments in Potsdam, therefore provides the Night of the Palaces as an excellent temporal orientation, to learn more about the state capital of Brandenburg.TICKETS
Details about the Night of the Palaces can be found here.