Help us celebrate 100 years anniversary of European Observatory

Fundraising campaign by Victor Musilek
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Warm greetings from a central European Observatory! 🪐

I am Victor, a new proud owner of an Observatory, that has been founded in 1929, has a very interesting (and important) history and its story includes even Mr. Albert Einstein!

Please, help me to rebuild this beautiful place and invite you to our brand-new observatory building, which will be built the way, how it looked 100 years ago! After many sleepless nights, I have found even the original blueprints from 1929 as well as the original astronomical telescope (manufactured 1925-1930), that used to be in our observatory in the early days.

I am sharing this interesting story with observatories all around the world and hoping, that this plan gets realized.

Everyone, who decides to support our campaign, will get:

  • Your name or your observatory's name on our website as well as inside our building ✨
  • Free entry for LIFE! 🥳
  • Online access to our online solar camera to see our beautiful surroundings in central Europe ⛰️
  • Online access to our weather data 🌫🌪🌡
  • Personal greetings, handshake, beer, and stargazing 🪐

All the archive materials that I managed to find in 6 months can be found here, enjoy!

The Observatory Story, that I have spent months on:

In 1924 the German University received a gift from the landowner Ledeburg a plot of land in the Ore Mountains near Telnice.

In February 1929, an association called "Sdružení přátel hvězdárny Německé univerzity v Praze" / Vereinigung von Freunden der Sternwarte der Deutsche Universität in Prag was founded. The aim of the association was to enable the university to carry out scientific activities at the university observatory and its observatory in Liboňov with private funds.

In the spring of 1929, the association purchased a 2,800 m2 plot of land in Liboňov at an altitude of 480 m on the southern slope of the Ore Mountains.

In the Erzgebirge village of Telnice, near Ústí nad Labem, the same year the university built an observatory (9 m long and 5 m wide), which was equipped with all the then modern instruments for observing the sky and the weather.

It was a sandstone fortel building designed by František Eis from Ústí nad Labem, a builder and designer from Ústí nad Labem, and the builder was Mr. Richard Wagner from Varvažov, the son of Karel Wagner, who had built the lookout tower at Nakléřov in 1913. The advantage of the observatory was the clean air without smoke and dust and the absence of city lighting, unlike in Prague.

Its longitudinal axis was oriented exactly in the east-west direction. The entrance to the building was from the east and opened into a small anteroom measuring 1.1 x 2.75 m. Behind the hallway was a room with a south-facing window. Both were covered by a flat roof. The observation room itself was 5 x 4 m. This part was covered by a semi-circular roof with a diameter of 5m. Two thirds of the roof was on rollers and rails. The roof could be extended by means of a mechanical drive to create a gap up to 2 m wide. In the centre of the room, a 200 kg marble slab rested on a 1.55 m high anchored concrete pillar, on which rested a measuring instrument to detect the passage of the constellation through the meridian.

The diameter of the objective lens was 6.8 cm and allowed for a magnification of 74 times. This measuring instrument accompanied the Austrian polar expedition to Jan Mayen in the Greenland Sea from June 1882 to August 1883. It was equipped in 1931 with instruments transferred from the closed historical observatory of Klementinum. The equipment included a telescope with a 160 mm diameter lens, two thermometers, a rain gauge, a hydrometer and a snow gauge.

The observatory was also equipped with a telescope with a 16 cm lens magnifying 300×. The telescope was mainly used to measure the brightness of stars. The manufacturer of the telescope and other measuring instruments was the Steinheil company from Munich. Approximately 15 m south of the main building, a 1.8 m high structure housed the measurement of meteorological data - temperature, humidity and temperature maxima and minima. Measurements of sunshine time and rainfall or snowfall were also located in the area.

In the summer of 1930, a cellar was built 40 m to the north with an entrance from the east for measuring magnetic declination. In the summer of 1930, the company purchased an additional 1,145 m2 of land at the western edge of the site (Köhler, 1930, p. 145).

During the war, the observatory was used for its scientific research work by the German Mining School in Duchcov to measure the Earth's magnetic field for the purpose of mining and surveying work in the mines of the Sub-Krušnohorn Mountains.

The school purchased and installed a chronometer for precise determination of the astronomical azimuth of the mines and in April 1942 started the first declination measurements. In December of the following year, a declination variometer of its own design was installed in the basement of the observatory and test observations of the variability of magnetic declination began with three readings per day.

The first crew consisted of observers Dr. J. Mrazek, Dr. R. Tschilschke and Dr. Rudolf Čilška. Assistant J. Mrazek moved to Telnice after the observatory was built, he mainly observed variable stars and processed observations of the 1910-1917 culminations. He also carried out magnetic and meteorological measurements. From 1924 to 1945 he managed the observatory.

At that time, the observatory was in dire need of reconstruction. The roof was rotten and threatened to collapse, there was no connection to the electricity grid and the lights were lit by batteries charged in a distant village. Werner Schaub (who became professor of astronomy on 12 September 1940 thanks to a document signed by Hitler) had the building restored and a separate high-voltage transformer installed for the observatory. In addition, a photometer (originally borrowed from Askania), a measuring table, a modern 1-meter meridian telescope and a new clock from Strasser & Rohde were purchased. Additional funds were used to purchase a library from the estate of Professor Bauschinger.

After Tschiltsky's sudden death on October 10, 1933, his position remained vacant for several years. Erwin Finlay Freundlich, German astronomer, director of the Einstein Institute, collaborator and friend of Albert Einstein and professor of astronomy at Charles University in Prague, stopped magnetic and meteorological observations at the Telnik Observatory after his arrival in Prague from Istanbul (1937), but resumed meteorological observations at the request of the Czechoslovak State Meteorological Institute.

Mr. Mrázek remained at the Telnik Observatory until his death in 1946.

During the war, the observatory also served as a meteorological station and a supplement to the observatory at the adjacent Milešovka. (Kol. 1944, p. 46) Before the Second World War, the observatory was used as an observatory of the Observatory. Dr. Leo Wenzel Pollak, head of the Geophysical Institute of the German University in Prague, was the director of the observatory at Milešovka. After the occupation of the borderlands in 1938, the observatory at Milešovka was taken over by the Reich Meteorological Service, from July 1944 as part of the military air service (Štekl 2005, p. 44). In the summer of 1945, Dr. Josef Mrázek, who lived with his wife in Telnice, No. 59, was still on duty and reported the results of daily measurements to the Meteorological Institute in Prague. The observatory in Liboňov closed down at the end of 1945.

The war swept away numerous values, both moral and material. It is said that in May 1945 a horse cart loaded with straw crossed the troubled border. Underneath it was hidden the most valuable equipment of the Libeň observatory. The dilapidated building later became a private cottage.

The German University disappeared with the Nazi Reich on May 5, 1945. As an "institute hostile to the Czech nation", it was legally abolished by Decree 122/1945 Coll.76 of President Edvard Beneš on 18 October 1945 with retroactive effect to 17 November 1939. The scientific institutes, their facilities and all their property were transferred to Charles University. In the autumn of the same year, Professor Guth and Associate Professor Link took all the equipment of the German Astronomical Institute (instruments from the observatory in Telnice and the largely preserved library from Luxembourg Street) to Ondřejov.

The Telnica observatory was taken over by the State Forests enterprise. At the beginning of the 1950s it was rented to František John from Ústí nad Labem as a recreational facility. The building was later used as a cottage. On 9 July 1951 the observatory was rented to Josef Pešava from Ústí as a recreational facility (AT K2 1951). A year later, the Ústí school board asked for the allocation of the observatory. In June 1953, the building was allocated to Jiří Auředník and Miloslav Skál for recreational purposes. In August Jaroslav Čech applied for the former observatory. In September 1956 the observatory was leased to Jarmila Kubíčková from Střekov. (AT K2 1956)

Approximately from 1960 to 1969 the observatory was occupied by the family of František Adam (wife Zdeňka Adamová, daughter Ivou Vavříková and brother Aleš Adam) and the family of Eduard Taške (son Ota, daughter Jitka, wife Jana), who used the observatory as a cottage and kept it in perfect order.

After they left the observatory, the construction was taken over by the Tramp settlement of Raraši, who did not take care of the observatory. After 1970, the next tenant left the observatory to decay.

In 1977, amateur stargazers from Ústí nad Labem were still thinking about repairing it, but they did not lease it.

Only the outline of the foundations in the middle of the forest remained on the site of the building, which included the observatory, observatory and meteorological station.

In January 2022, Vit Musílek and his girlfriend Vika Yang purchased the observatory site and plan to restore the observatory to its original 1929 condition and offer it to the public for stargazing, tours, education, and to universities for scientific purposes. He spent three months searching for archival materials and managed to find not only the original plans of the observatory, but also the period observatory telescope, which is still located at the observatory in Ondrejov.


Ferdinand MADĚRA, Municipality of Telnice and the local part of Liboňov and Varvažov, 2010

Rudolf KÖHLER, Die Sternwarte in Liebsdorf - Tellnitz, Beiträge zur Heimatkunde des Aussig-Karbitzer Bezirkes, vol. 10, no. 4, Ústí nad Labem 1930, pp. 145-149

RUCKÝ, Pavel - BUREŠ, Jiří - Mikušek, Eduard, Probes into the History of Upper Schools in Duchcov, Duchcov 2019, pp. 92-93

SLAVÍK, Václav - KÖRNER, Jaroslav, Na Ústecku byla kdy kdybyby star observatory..., Orion - periodical of AK at ODKP in Ústí nad Labem, 1979, No. 2, pp. 21-25

DOUBRAVA, Jaroslav - village Telnice and local part Liboňov a Varvažov, 2008

Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, DIPLOMATIC THEsis, Petra Hyklová, Astronomical research at Charles University in Prague from 1882 to the present, Astronomical Institute of Charles University, Supervisor of the diploma thesis: doc. RNDr. Martin Šolc, CSc.


Just love it!

Thank you for the support, we so much appreciate it! You are warmly welcomed anytime:)

Online Camera Premium Access

Interested in the beautiful view we have? We will send you a link to a 24/7 online stream, where you can see our Czech sky crystal clear.

Your name inside the building

Every visitor will see, which organization or private person supported us.

Online visit and talk

Are you interested in the archive materials, the story, and the building? Let's schedule a video call so we can show you around and share our vision!

Free entry for life for you, and your friends!

Just visit us whenever you would like and the doors will be opened! Welcome anytime!

Spend a night in our observatory.

We will build a secret and private apartment on the second floor. With a private astronomical telescope. Interested in spending a night?


Become our partner and let's stargaze together! Let's share our experience, observations and meteorological data.


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