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1904 Fabra Observatory for study of asteroids and comets

Historic 1904 fully functional observatory by architect Josep Domenech i Estapa. Observatory offers guided visits and summer evening dinner & stargazing

Updated: Jan 28, 2024 by: Barcelona Travel Hacks Views: 1.3k

About Fabra Observatory

The Fabra Observatory or Observatori Fabra was established in 1904 for the study of asteroids, comets and earthquakes. It is the fourth oldest observatory in the world that is still fully functioning. The observatory offers day guided tours and evening dinners, Dining with The Stars that include star gazing from the main Telescope.

Fabra Observatory History

Having decided to build an observatory at Tibidabo, in 1895 the Academy presented to the Provincial Council, a project drawn up by the architect Josep Doménech Estapá, with the scientific advice of Eduard Fontserè i Riba, an astrologist.

The attempt was frustrated due to competition with Tibidabo Temple for the prime spot on the top of tibidabo summit and a lack of funds.

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Six years later, a gift from Camil Fabra y Fontanills, first Marquis of Alella, provided the appropriate funding, which was supplemented with financial support from the Provincial Council and Barcelona City Council.

The issue about location had been solved, the previous project was duly adapted by the same architect Josep Doménech Estapá, but now with the advice of the astronomer Josep Comas i Solà, both academics. The works began in 1902.

On April 7, 1904, the new Observatory was inaugurated, to which the Royal Academy, its owner, assigned the name of Fabra, in recognition of the patron who had made its construction possible.

Visiting Fabra Observatory

Fabra Observatory offers Guided tours by the scientific staff inside the Observatory that will allow you to get to know first-hand all the architectural and scientific heritage of the building.

Throught the tour tou will receive explanations of all activities carried out at the observatory such as astronomy, meteorology and seismology. Finally you will learn about the life of the farmers who lived in the building at the beginning of the 20th century.

Fabra Observatory Guided Tour Hours

The visit lasts an hour and a half, approximately until 12:30h.

No need to reserve.

The meeting point is in front of the grand entrance on the wooden decking. See the first photo in the gallery to have an idea of where to be at 11:00h.

The language of the visit is in Catalan but if you ask nicely they will proovide some explanations in Spanish also.

During the daytime visit, you can freely access the Observatory's gardens and viewpoint every Sunday and public holiday from 11:00h to 13:00h.

Fabra Observatory Night Visits

The night visit includes the same spaces as the day visit on Sundays but with the adition of night time star gazing.

The schedule for the Night visits are variable according to the time of year and the Calendar of observations can be consulted via the Night visits button below. Night visits cost 15 Euros per person.

Fabra Observatory Dinner with the Stars

The activity takes place at the Fabra Observatory during the summer months and combines scientific dissemination and astronomical observation with a gastronomic proposal. The dinners take place outdoors on the decking infront of the main entrance. After dinner, a 30-minute scientific familiarisation conference is offered, with the possibility for the audience to ask questions. Then you visit the museum, the modernist room, the telescope of steps and access to the large dome room, which preserves the original telescope.

You will get to view distant constellations, stars and much of the solar system from the telescope.

Diner with the stars cists from 84 euros per person.

What to take with you for Fabra Observatory

While no specific entry requirements, I only recommend taking a small rucksack or bag because the observatory staff will probably ask you to leave large bags, pushchairs and other bulky items on the ground floor while they take you on the guided tour.

Access between floors and to the roof terrace is only via stairs. The Telescope is on the second second floor inside the dome.

No bicycle anchorage outside or near to Fabra Observatory.

Day Trip Rucksack

Day Trip Rucksack

Small 10L day trip and museums rucksack

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0.8L water bottle

0.8L water bottle

Reusable, refillable 1L water bottle.

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Emergency Poncho

Emergency Poncho

Small folded lightweight Water proof poncho for emergencies

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Summary of Prices

Train/Bus Fare Entry Ticket Additional Information Train/Bus Fare Entry Ticket Additional Information Adult Zone 1 T-casual € 3.00 Child T-familiar FREE For under 14 YearsGroup/Family Ticket? No.Notes Visits only available 11h on Sunday. No reservation. required

Getting to Fabra Observatory

Address: Cami de l'Observatori S/N, Barcelona. 08035, Barcelona. 8035

Fabra Observatory is in Collserola Natural Park Near to Tibidabo Amusement Park and Vallvidrera Village.

See the Getting to Section of the Tibidabo page.

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