Museo dell'Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Padua

4.5
#7 of 25 in Museums in Padua
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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Learn about the stargazers of yore at Museo dell'Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, an astronomical observatory built in a 9th-century defense tower, prison, and torture chamber. After the former castle was abandoned in the 13th century, the tower was reclaimed in 1761 as an observatory, with observation rooms specifically built as vantage points of the galaxy. This was one of the first observatories to make use of Benjamin Franklin's 1750 discovery of the lightening rod. In 1942, a new observatory was created, home to the huge telescope, Galileo. It was then that the tower was converted into a museum, preserving and exhibiting the tools of observation used during the prior 250 years. Note that tours are in Italian only, but an English-language handout helps you follow along. By using our Padua trip itinerary maker tool, you can arrange your visit to Museo dell'Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova and other attractions in Padua.
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Museo dell'Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova reviews

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  • A former castle tower from medieval times was put to good use during the 1770s when it started to serve as an astronomical observatory. The university of Padua eventually moved to a more modern... 
    A former castle tower from medieval times was put to good use during the 1770s when it started to serve as an astronomical observatory. The university of Padua eventually moved to a more modern...  more »
  • It was very frustrating not understanding the explanations. I was also very disappointed that even the notes describing the instruments and other things were (mostly) in Italian. What does it cost to....  more
    It was very frustrating not understanding the explanations. I was also very disappointed that even the notes describing the instruments and other things were (mostly) in Italian. What does it cost to....  more »
Google
  • Great views and interesting historical museum, but not very friendly to visitors. To get a ticket for the tour, you first have to register online or by phone. Then you get sent an email confirming your spot, and saying you have to turn up 15 minutes earlier than the allocated time to pay for the ticket in cash. (Why can't you just pay online?) The email says to go to the museum to do this, and even provides a google map link (all in Italian). But that is wrong. You actually need to go to a nearby museum to pay for the ticket, and then go to the astronomical museum. This is explained on the website, but not in the email you get which has contradictory instructions. The tour itself is only in Italian. Although half of our group clearly couldn't understand the guide, she made no attempt to talk to anyone who couldn't speak Italian, even though she had excellent English when pressed. So we just had to follow the people who appeared to understand the instructions of where we were supposed to go next. The guide had a few printed English language brochures, but not enough for those of us who needed them. Some of the signs on exhibits were in Italian and English, but not all. I'm sure the guide explained a lot of interesting things, but I don't know what they were. The views from the top were fantastic. We were there at sunset and it was beautiful.
  • A nice astronomy museum that is open during summer. This year it is open every Wednesday from 21:00-22:00. It is a guided tour in Italian language. Price is 8 euro per person. No advance booking needed. But it only allows first 50 people. They start selling tickets from 20:30. It is better to go 1 hour before selling tickets.

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