Astronomic Observatory Museum, Museums, Culture

The Astronomic Observatory Museum is located in Alameda Park in Quito. Alameda Park is rich in heritage and was established on 8 March 1596, making it the oldest park in Quito today. The park is approximately six hectares in size and was previously known to the Indians as ‘Chuquihuada’. The park is a very popular place of calm and relaxation and is a favorite location for a family outing with the locals. It has basic facilities, such as a lagoon on which boat rides can be taken, El Churo (which is the park lookout point) and bathroom facilities. There are also a number of monuments that have been erected in the park. One example is the monument dedicated to President Eloy Alfaro, the man who endorsed the law to respect the natives and inhabitants of the forests.

In 1873, the construction to the Astronomic Observatory, or El Observatorio Astronomico, began in Alameda Park. This striking observatory has managed to stand the test of time, surviving to be oldest Astronomic Observatory in South America. It still has most of its original equipment and instruments. Newer technology has been added during the 20th century, but details of these changes and improvements have been carefully documented and preserved in the Astronomic Observatory Museum. The building of the observatory was the result of a dream and decision that was made by the then President of Ecuador, Dr Gabriel Garcia Moreno. The buildings are beautifully designed and constructed with arched doorways and big arched windows. The observatory also has its own well maintained garden that surrounds the building.

More recent technological additions that visitors will be able to view include the Mertz reflector, which is 30 centimeters in diameter, and the 10 centimeter Bamber. Dr Moreno’s dreams were realized by the construction of the Astronomic Observatory Museum and, together with German astronomer, J.B. Menten, the President started the astronomical history and legacy of Ecuador. The old instruments and telescope stand as testimony of a rich exploration heritage and the curiosity of a nation. This heritage is enjoyed and remembered by the visitors and the park photographers that offer to capture visitors on their old technology cameras so that they can help you create a memory in the history of Alameda Park and the Astronomic Observatory Museum.

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