Aarhus gets a unique learning platform for science situated in Kongelunden (King’s Grove). The 110-year-old Ole Rømer Observatory, part of the Science Museums, Aarhus University, is facing an extensive renovation in order to restore the building to a more original appearance. At the same time, the beautiful area around the observatory is transformed into a Science Park where visitors and school classes can explore natural science both in the daytime and in the evening under the starry sky. Furthermore, the Ole Rømer Observatory is going to be accessible to everybody.
Karin Salling, vice chairperson, Salling Fondene, finds that the project is going to strengthen community cohesion and increase diversity in the area. She says:
“It sends a very strong signal, nationally as well, that so many foundations support the financing of this new and visionary project in Aarhus. The Science Park contributes to increasing diversity in the area and is part of our cultural heritage. Furthermore, all the new exciting projects strengthen community cohesion in the area of Kongelunden.”
Christine Paludan-Müller, Head of Grants in Nordea-fonden, sees great potential in relation to letting the visitors experience natural science. She says:
”The Science Park is going to be a unique opportunity for many schoolchildren and visitors. We see a great potential in giving the visitors firsthand experience with natural science, the stars and the nature surrounding us.”
Former chief manager of the Kongelunden project, Alvaro Arriagada, Aarhus Municipality, estimates that the Ole Rømer Observatory and the area Kongelunden are going to be future attractions. He says:
“Kongelunden is filled with historical places, and many citizens in Aarhus have their own stories in relation to the area. It has been this way for more than a hundred years, and right now, we are creating the framework to secure that Kongelunden continues to be an important destination in Aarhus. In Aarhus Municipality, we are very happy that it is now possible for the Science Museums to fulfil the vision of a Science Park with exciting learning opportunities for children, families and other visitors. Together with the beautifully restored observatory, it is going to be an amazing attraction in Kongelunden.”
Bent Lorenzen, director of the Science Museums, Aarhus University, is very happy about the enormous support of the project. He says:
“We are very pleased and grateful that Salling Fondene, Nordea-fonden and Aarhus Municipality contribute to the development of the observatory with their support. It is amazing that so many foundations and other contributors have made full financing possible. The Science Museums would like to offer many aspects of and show the diversity within natural science and cultural heritage. Now the Science Museums and Aarhus University have the opportunity to create a learning platform with many interesting activities for all visitors, including sessions for primary schools and high schools. The transformation of the observatory garden into a Science Park enables us to offer school classes overnight stays in science shelters giving them a great experience in relation to science and Aarhus University.”
The Ole Rømer Observatory and the Science Park are expected to open 25. september 2023.
The philanthropic organization Realdania: DKK 4.5 m.
Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Fond: DKK 4 m.
Salling Fondene: DKK 2 m.
Nordea-fonden: DKK 2 m.
Kongelunden, Aarhus Kommune: DKK 1 m.
Aarhus Universitet: DKK 3.5 m.
The vision for the Ole Rømer Observatory is to put the observatory more distinctly on the map as a part of Aarhus’ and Aarhus University’s cultural heritage and strengthen community cohesion in Kongelunden and Aarhus. Anton Rosen’s iconic building and the surroundings of the observatory are going to be a science park and a platform for state of the art scientific communication in a beautiful, historical environment.