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Located atop the Blandijnberg at the University of Ghent, lies a hidden treasure: a fully-equipped 19th century observatory and grassy rooftop terrace. The Van Monckhoven telescope in the large dome of the Old Observatory is a 228 mm (nine-inch) f/11 refractor on an equatorial mount and dates from 1880. This Steinheil-Cooke telescope is the oldest telescope in Europe with a still-functioning telescope tracking system.
This cultural heritage can be visited every Wednesday evening between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. You can then look at the night sky with volunteer employees, both with the historical and with modern telescopes. The observatory is home to a member association dedicated to popularizing astronomy, meteorology, and space travel.
Know Before You Go
Open to the public on Wednesdays from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Winter is the best time to watch stars, so dress warmly. Summer is a nice time to look at the sun and enjoy the view over the city of Ghent.