Pulkovo Main Astronomical Observatory

Pulkovo Main Astronomical Observatory

(pool -ko-vo) The chief astronomical observatory in Russia, built on the commanding heights of Pulkovo about 6 kilometers outside St Petersburg. It was founded in 1839 at the behest of Tsar Nicholas I, who appointed the German-born astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve as its first director. It was completely destroyed in World War II, after which it was rebuilt. It reopened in 1954 with the surviving instruments repaired and modernized and some new instruments. In 1997, by presidential decree, it received the status of ‘especially valuable object of the cultural heritage of the peoples of the Russian Federation’.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006