Under the milky way

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Under the milky way

There was a time astronomy was taught at the Sorbonne. Up there, 120 feet over the sidewalk an observatory has survived over the roofs of the oldest French University. The place now belongs to the French Society of Astronomy and they open it to very small groups, maximum 5 persons for security reasons, twice a week. Not to be missed!
You will enter, after hours, the Sorbonne, as any student, from the doors of rue Cujas and will wander through the empty hallways one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Then, get ready to climb lots of stairs to reach the milky way! A first stop in the workshop where the members of the Astromic Society manufacture the lenses for the telescope, polished to perfection by hand. More steps to finally reach the the observatory where stands in the center the telescope dating from 1935. After some explanations about the place and its construction, the time to open the dome will have come, pulling chains and manipulating all kinds of cranks and pulleys like in a Jules Vernes novel, unvailing an unobstructed 360° view over Paris. A jump back in time! If the skies are clear you will get  close enough to touch the stars as a 1935 telescope allows or you will get to see the skyline of Paris from the most unusuall point of view ever far away from the crowds of tourists at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Don’t forget your camera and keep it hush-hush!

The Sorbonne Observatory
Société Astronomique de France
Visits on Monday and Friday at 8:00PM en winter and 9:00PM in summer.
Fee: 5€
Reservation: 01 42 24 13 74

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