Sternwarte Babelsberg (Babelsberg Observatory)
Sternwarte Babelsberg

Today, the former Babelsberg Observatory houses the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP). In addition to being historically used for astronomical observation, the high-tech institute is one of the most advanced and modern facilities for astrophysics and astronomy research.

The Babelsberg Observatory in Potsdam opened in 1913. At that time, the observatory was relocated from Kreuzberg in the outskirts of Berlin to Potsdam. The increased difficulty in making observations due to increased air and light pollution in the growing capital city was the main reason for the move. The Babelsberg Observatory was built west of Neubabelsberg with the construction costing more than one million gold marks. The observatory was equipped with a 65 centimeter refractor telescope. In 1924, the Babelsberg Observatory was upgraded to a 120 centimeter telescope, which was the second largest reflecting telescope in the world at that time. After the Second World War, the facility was dismantled as part of war reparations to the Soviet Union.

Although the Babelsberg Observatory in Potsdam and its purpose has changed steadily over time, research has always been at the forefront. In 1966, research into Einstein's theory of relativity was intensified and the institute was renamed to the Institute of Relativistic and Extragalactic Research. During the GDR period, the facility was renamed as the Central Institute of Astrophysics of the Academy of Sciences of the German Democratic Republic. The observatory adopted its current name in 1992. Today, the facility is used to evaluate data supplied by large observatories in Chile, the United States and Tenerife. Further research is being carried out in different subject areas, including the research into cosmic magnetic fields and extragalactic astrophysics.

Remaining true to its origins, the Babelsberg Observatory in Potsdam hosts education events related to astronomy. Every third Thursday of the month, professors conduct a lecture entitled "Starry Night on Thursday” where visitors can learn about fascinating phenomena of space. Held weekly during the summer, "Astrophysics on Telegraph Hill" provides interesting insights into space through a guided tour of the grounds and a visit to the large refractor. On clear winter nights, visitors see stars close up with a look through the historic lens telescope. School groups of all ages can also sign up to learn more about astrology with lectures and demonstrations. The Institute also provides several opportunities for youth, including internships and so-called "Girls' Days" that provide a look at astrophysical research professions for budding star gazers.

Babelsberg Observatory map

Events in Potsdam

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Music 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.


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.


Details about the Night of the Palaces can be found here.

Official Contact

Official Park Sanssouci Contact

The Foundation for Prussian Palaces and Gardens.

Phone : +49 (0)331/9694-0

Fax : +49 (0)331/9694-107