Historia Universitatis Iassiensis 10, 145–171

Vasilica Mîrza | Arhitectura cerului, design terestru. Observatorul Astronomic din Iași și istoria sa

Abstract. The Astronomical Observatory has found its usefulness in the European scientific environment since the 19th century, and observations and calculations made using mechanical, optical, electrical and electronic instruments have provided indispensable information for the knowledge of the celestial space. Whereas in some countries of Europe at the end of the 19th century, there were already famous Observatories, for the intelligence provided in the field of astronomy, in Vienna, Berlin, Paris. For example, in Romania, only in early 20th century, the first such pieces of equipment were built and put into operation This is how the Observatories in Bucharest and Iași were founded in the first decades of the 20th century. These, of course, functioned outside the Universities. They were the places where mechanical disciplines, physics, astronomy and philo-sophy all taught; all of them contributed to a certain extent to the research carried out in the institutions of higher education. The need to summarise in this article the historical information regarding the Astronomical Observatory in Iași has the role of introducing to the scientific circuit a series of unique documents from the Iași archives and more, hosted by the County Service of the National Archives of Iași, by the University Archive “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” of Iași and by the CNSAS Archive. This article will analyse the main stages in the history of the institution, which include both the personalities who contributed to the development of the astronomy field in Iași and how the Observatory was equipped, so as to correspond to the specific activities, i.e. didactic, research and observation. Even more important was the attempt to restore the historical route of the operation and endowment of the building, which recorded am uninterrupted activity for almost a century since its establishment, despite the serious damage caused during the two World Wars, which left behind colossal material damage.