The Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope

History and Heritage

by I.S. Glass

Paperback 287 x 209 mm; pp 80 + ii; 138 illustrs. (73 in colour); ISBN 978-0-9814126-2-7

Price R150. Available from the author: glass.ian at and from SAAO (Thembela Matungwa: tm at

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Also available at SAAO open nights on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month at 8pm.

Mons Mensa Publishing, Cape Town (2015)

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The Royal Observatory has been part of the Cape Town scene for nearly two hundred years. It is the oldest scientific institution in South Africa, if not in all of Africa.

Now the headquarters of the South African Astronomical Observatory, it is treasured for its science as well as for its special architecture.

The extensive SAAO collections of instruments and historical images have been drawn upon to present a vivid account from its foundation in 1820 to the present day. Outlined are the Observatory’s history, buildings, astronomical achievements, conservation and heritage issues and its natural setting between the Liesbeek and Black rivers.

80 pages with 138 illustrations (73 in colour). Price: R150. Available from the author: and from SAAO (Thembela Matungwa: Also at SAAO open nights on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month.

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