Our observatory was built in 1969 as a school observatory. It was one of approximately 300 school and public observatories in the former GDR. The observatory was equipped with a 6” reflecting telescope and several small refracting telescopes for mobile use.

12" telescop from the Observatory Riesa

12″ telescop from the Observatory Riesa

After the wall came down in 1989, the observatory was rescued from decay by committed citizens of our home town. In 1996 the old telescope was replaced with a new computerised Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope with a diameter of 30 cm. Since that time many amateur astronomers of the region offered regularly observations without charge.

Those amateur astronomers founded in 2001 a small club called “Sternenfreunde Riesa”. Every member provided a telescope and a lot of leisure time to offer public observations. So it was possible to show every interested visitor the beauty of our universe.
Stefan Schwager became the director of the observatory in 2005. Due to his commitment the observatory gained publicity and attracted more and more visitors.

In 2007 the non-profit association “Sternwarte Riesa e.V.” was founded to offer and promote popular astronomy in Riesa. A declared object of the association was to offer a substitute for the disposed school subject Astronomy. Since that time, astronomy is small a part of the subject Physics without a chance to have a look through a telescope. The members of the association think that pupils should get the chance to put more attention to the oldest science of the world.

The Observatory hovers from the roof

The Observatory hovers from the roof

Since the founding of the association thousands of visitors enjoyed a walk through the museum area and had a look through a big telescope.

Due to deconstruction work the observatory met the challenge to find a new location. With the help of many volunteers the observatory moved to the Kreuzstrasse. Sponsors made it possible to remove the observation cupola from the roof of the old building and helped us to refurbish the cupola completely.

Since 2013 the first German astronaut, Dr. Sigmund Jähn, is an honorary member of the Sternwarte Riesa e.V.