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Nuremberg

The first European permanent observatory was established in Nuremberg.

The observatory at Nuremberg was established by Regiomontanus, who wrote in a letter to a friend on 4 July 1471: "Quite recently I have made observations in the city of Nürnberg... for I have chosen it as my permanent home not only on account of the availability of instruments, particularly the astronomical instruments on which the entire science is based, but also on account of the great ease of all sorts of communication with learned men living everywhere, since this place is regarded as the center of Europe because of the journeys of merchants."

This date was used for issuing a small, 26 mm diameter commemorative silver medal in 1971 for the 500th anniversary of the observatory. On the obverse the portrait of the founder, Regiomontanus, or Johannes Müller von Königsberg, is displayed in half left face view. On the left side his year of birth 1436, on the right his death 1476. Legend above his name in original and Latin form: "JOHANNES MÜLLER • REGIOMONTANUS",  below: " • ASTRONOM UND MATHEMATIKER •", i. e. astronomer and mathematician. On his shoulder the purity of silver (986) from which this medal was made is marked.

Nurnberg 1  reverseNurnberg 1 obverse

On the reverse the observatory dominates the scene in its current form. This observatory has been standing for over 70 years at the Rechenberg, and has nothing else common with the original small and private observation site that Regiomontanus built than its name. The observatory of Nuremberg is called Regiomontanus Observatory (Regiomontanus Sternwarte). Legend around is:"1471 ERRICHTET REGIOMONTANUS I. DEUTSCHE STERNWARTE", i. e. 1471 built Regiomontanus the first German observatory. In the inner circle and above the building is: "STERNWARTE NÜRNBERG", "500 JAHRE", i. e. Nurenberg Observatory 500 years. The purity of silver (986) is marked on this side too below the building.