The Jerlov Observatory – Vittsjö, Sweden - Atlas Obscura

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The Jerlov Observatory

Vittsjö, Sweden

This former peat factory was transformed into an observatory before being abandoned once again.  


This old peat factory turned observatory now stands abandoned.

During World War II, peat factories were in their heyday in Sweden. The difficulty of importing coal and gas led people to look for other sources of energy, but when the war ended these factories were abandoned one by one.

One, however, found a new purpose in the decades to come. Amateur astronomer Emil Jerlov was looking for a location to put his 10-inch Newton reflector telescope and this abandoned four-story building, far from any light pollution was the perfect spot.

The concrete building offered a sturdy foundation for the dome Emil installed on the roof containing his optics. It was used until his death in 1976 when the telescope was removed. The building was left standing as a reminder of an amateur astronomer’s dream come true.



Know Before You Go

The abandoned observatory is today private property and the lower level is used for storage so be respectful when visiting.

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