Great Refractor and Einstein Tower


The domes of Einstein Tower and Great Refractor on Telegrafenberg.


The "Science Park Albert Einstein" on Potsdam's Telegrafenberg (see locations) is home to the Great Refractor and the Solar Observatory Einstein Tower, which are very interesting in a history of science context and still very popular with all age groups. The park is open during the day, all buildings can be visited from the outside without making an appointment. Guests of the science park only need to register at the park entrance (front gate).

Great Refractor

The Great Refractor can be visited within a guided tour. Dates and hours are announced via our public events page and via the local media in Potsdam; guided tours for groups of 15 or more people are also possible via the Förderverein Großer Refraktor e.V..

The Great Refractor from the outside on a sunny day. Side view. The slit of the white dome is opened, the trees cast shadows on the clinker brick building.

The Great Refractor building at the Telegrafenberg.

Credit: AIP

The Great Refractor, the fourth largest refracting telescope in the world, is still functional.

Credit: AIP

Einstein Tower

The Einstein Tower is currently being renovated. The construction work is expected to last until mid-2023. During this period, interior visits are not possible and outside visits may be restricted due to e.g. scaffolding.

Scaffolding around the Einstein Tower in July 2022.

An outside visit of the tower is possible at any time during the day and highly recommended. Guests have to register at the entrance of the science park. Visiting the interior is only possible during the winter months, as the telescope and optics laboratory are in constant use for current research tasks. In general, the interior can only be visited as part of a guided tour, where further information about the building, the telescope and current tasks are explained. The Urania Potsdam usually organises guided tours.

Interested parties are kindly requested to contact:

Urania Association "Wilhelm Foerster" e. V.
Gutenbergstr. 71/72
14467 Potsdam

Tel.: +49 331 291741
Fax: +49 331 29 36 83

Please understand that we have to limit the number of visitors. The building is designed as an observatory and is not suitable for large groups. In addition, the open construction inside makes the optical instruments very sensitive to dust and humidity. Registration for all Urania events is therefore absolutely necessary! Individual further agreements are possible to a limited extent, arranged by Urania.

Groups of school pupils and students may also contact the press and public outreach section directly via


The Einstein Tower in spring 2008.

Credit: AIP/R. Arlt
Inside view of the open dome of the Einstein Tower with telescope mirrors.

Inside view of the Einstein Tower's open dome with telescope mirrors.

Credit: AIP/R. Arlt
Last update: 20. July 2022