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Andreas Verdun:

The old observatory in Bern, 1812–1876: The fundamental point of Swiss national surveying

Cartographica Helvetica 29 (2004) 35–42


The first astronomic-geodetic investigations of national importance in the Canton of Bern were carried out at the end of the 18th century. As a result of these scientific studies, the first observatory in Bern was built in 1812, which later on served as the fundamental point for national surveying in Switzerland and, in particular, for the Dufour Map. Thus, geodetic astronomy and astronomic geodesy have a long tradition in Bern. The observatory was torn down in 1876 and the Telluric Observatory was constructed on the same site.

Newly discovered and up to now unpublished graphic material shows the constructional development of the old observatory in Bern as well as its importance to geodetic surveying in Switzerland due to its particular geographic location.

Bibliographic note

  • Edited version of: Zwei Jahrhunderte Astronomie und Geodäsie in Bern. In: Orion 61, 3 = 316 (2003) pp. 4–12.

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