City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Observatory


Observatory with shadows of acropolis
Venue details
Edinburgh Area: 
New Town, Edinburgh
Telephone (info): 
0131 556 9536

The City Observatory on Calton Hill was main centre for astronomers until 1896 when it was decided to move to Blackford, due to light pollution in the city centre spoiling the view of the night sky.

Professor Thomas Henderson was appointed 1834 as the first Astronomer Royal to work in the building. He is credited with discovering how to measure parallax and the distance to a star while in his previous job in South Africa.

The neo-classical building is run by Edinburgh City Council and is open by arrangement only.