Nice Observatory

The Observatoire de Nice (Nice Observatory) is an astronomical observatory located in Nice, France on the summit of Mont Gros. The observatory was initiated in 1879 by the banker Raphaël Bischoffsheim. The architect was Charles Garnier, and Gustave Eiffel designed the main dome.

The 77-cm (30.3-inch) refractor telescope made by Henry and Gautier that became operational around 1886-1887, the largest in a privately funded observatory, and first at such high altitude (325 m). It was slightly bigger in aperture and several meters longer than the new (1895) 30 inch at Pulkovo observatory in the Russian Empire. The French telescope was also at a higher altitude. The two 30 inch had taken the crown from the 69 cm at Vienna Observatory (completed early 1880s). All three were outperformed by the 36-inch (91-cm) refractor at the Lick Observatory in 1889.

As a scientific institution, the Nice Observatory no longer exists. It was merged with CERGA in 1988 to form the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur.

The Nice Observatory was featured in the 1999 film Simon Sez.

Directors
  • Henri Joseph Anastase Perrotin 1880—1904
  • General J. A. L. Bassot 1904—1917
  • Gaston Fayet 1917—1962
  • Jean-Claude Pecker 1962—1969
  • Philippe Delache 1969—1972
  • Philippe Delache 1975
  • Philippe Delache 1989—1994

Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com