Cointe Observatory – Liège, Belgium - Atlas Obscura

Cointe Observatory

This Belgian observatory bears a striking resemblance to Futurama's Planet Express building. 


Observatories often have an otherworldly feel, not just because of the telescopes housed inside, but due to the sometimes-unusual style in which they are built. Cointe Observatory is no exception, with its iconic red bricks and retractable roof that may have inspired Futurama’s Planet Express building

The observatory consists of a snaking collection of buildings, the oldest of which dates back to 1881, with the newest additions as recent as the 1980s. Most of the structure is built in a medieval revival style, which is characterized by red bricks, wooden roofs, and green copper domes. 

It was used by the astrophysics department of the university until 2002, after which they moved out and it was turned over to the Société Astronomique de Liège. The building has not been maintained and is on the brink of collapsing. The observatory was recently sold to a redevelopment company. 

Know Before You Go

The building is maintained by the Astronomical Society which organizes events there regularly. The grounds are sometimes open and allow visitors to walk around, but do not enter any buildings without permission.

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June 20, 2024

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