Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte, Naples

Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte, Naples (must see)

The Astronomical Observatory of Naples is located on Miradois Hill near the Capodimonte Palace. Located at 150 meters above sea level, it commands spectacular views of the city and the bay. It was the first building in Europe designed to house instruments for astronomical observation.

In 1735, the Bourbon King Charles III endowed a chair of navigation and astronomy at the University of Naples. The plan of establishing the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte was conceived by well-known university astronomers, Giuseppe Piazzi and Federico Zuccari. Their dream was realized during the reign of Joachim Murat, the brother in law of Napoleon, who approved of its plan and sanctioned the construction in 1812. The observatory was completed in 1860 after the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty.

The Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte is a research facility that studies the solar system and astrophysical processes, genesis and evolution. It has a 40cm main telescope through which the public can view the stars when experiments are not being conducted. The observatory also hosts a library with books on astronomy and a small museum, displaying astronomical instruments, including old brass and wooden telescopes, globes, a Chlasner Clock, dating back to the 16th century, some 18h century clocks that were made in Naples, and an impressive collection of maps and prints.

Tip:
Note that this research center can be visited during scheduled events only, including the various laboratories for the youth.
Activities are published both on the center's FB page (INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte) and their website.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Naples, Italy within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte on Map

Sight Name: Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte
Sight Location: Naples, Italy
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Naples, Italy

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