The Spanish National Observatory is an astronomical observatory with several facilities in the Madrid area.
The seat of the National Observatory is the Royal Observatory in the Parque del Buen Retiro. This historic observatory was built in 1790. Equipped with a Herschel telescope, it took over the purely astronomical work of the naval observatory, the Real Instituto y Observatorio de la Armada, in the south of the country. The building was designed by Juan de Villanueva and represents one of the highlights of Spanish neoclassical architecture. Its domed lantern was conceived as a classical circular temple. It houses historic scientific equipment and a library, which can be visited by prior arrangement.
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