A unique chance to hire an observatory

In mid-August, Europe’s most powerful public-access observatory opens very close to the city of Salzburg. It provides an opportunity to gaze into the breath-taking depths of the universe – and can also be booked as a venue for various events.

In the middle of August, Star Trek enthusiasts and all the other fans of galactic adventures in Salzburg can look forward to a truly heavenly place to visit. For the first time in Europe, the Vega observatory gives members of the public a chance to take a look at the boundaries of the known universe, an
incomprehensible 15 billion light years away. “The main telescope here is the most powerful one in public use in Europe. It’s a veritable astro-Ferrari“,
declared the project’s initiator and head of the Salzburg working group for astronomy, Helmut Windhager. The brand-new super observatory on
Haunsberg Hill, just 20km outside the city of Salzburg isn’t just there for researchers, it’s also for public usage. Visits are free of charge and the venue
can be booked for all kinds of events – from product presentations to exclusive evening meals beneath the stars.

Room for 150 delegates

As well as the most powerful public-access telescope in Europe, Salzburg’s observatory offers five rooms of varying sizes and two rooftop patios. From
here, up to 150 visitors can enjoy a view of the firmament. It’s a unique opportunity to feel like ‘Masters of the Universe’.

Private initiative

The funding of the €2.5 million project was just as extraordinary as the venue itself, located around 800 metres above sea level. There are telescopes of up to one metre in length and the project was funded with money collected by a group of private individuals. The eponymous Salzburg logistics business Vega got the ball rolling, putting up half of the total sum required. The architect and construction companies donated their labour without charge, and the telescope manufacturers at ASA (Astro Systeme Austria) also provided sponsorship. A building block donation scheme also attracted a large contribution. Hence, only €1 million were required from the public sector.

The observatory, which can be said to have expanded horizons in every sense, is operated by the Haus der Natur museum in the city of Salzburg. The region’s most highly-frequented museum is home to the Salzburg working group for astronomy and has housed Austria’s only permanent space exhibition since 1983.

Facts & Figures about VEGA Sternwarte

From mid-August onwards, the Vega observatory on Haunsberg Hill, 20km outside the city of Salzburg, offers an opportunity to gaze deep into the universe with a gigantic telescope. Events can be held in any of the five rooms or two rooftop patios. There’s easily enough room for 150 guests. The construction cost €2.5 million, most of which was provided by private sources. The facility is run by a Salzburg museum Haus der Natur.

Images of the VEGA observatory at Haunsberg mountain near Salzburg

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