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Visit Norway’s zero point

The observatory opens the doors this weekend. Join the tour!

Visit Norway's zero point

See the gems of the capital

The astronomical observatory was listed at the University of Oslo in 1831-33 by architect Chr. H. Grosch in collaboration with Professor Hansteen. The building was used as an observatory for 100 years, until 1933, then used by the Norwegian Polar Institute and the University Library’s music-historical collections. Future place for Museum of University and Science History. Today, also the Center for Ibsen Studies.

The roof of the tower hat is pivotal and you can peer into celestial bodies in every direction, “explains Bjørn Vidar Johansen from the Museum of University and Science.

READ MORE: Towards the zero point in the Observatory (about the building)

The building contains Norway’s zero point, which placed the country on the map, says Johansen. Our zero meridian had to be constructed in relation to other countries’ null points. The importance of placing the zero meridian is better understood when explaining that there was a time difference between Oslo and Drammen in 6 minutes.

It took Hansteen and his assistants over 10 years to determine the position exactly, and since 1847 Norway has been placed correctly on the globe.

Visit Norway's zero point

See low energy homes at Slemdal

Open Saturday 13th and Sunday 14.9 from 11-15. Guided tours at 12, 13 and 14.

Address: Observatoriegaten 1, Solli Square

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