Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic is one
of the oldest scientific institutions in our country. It is the direct successor
of the Observatory of the Jesuit College, located in the tower of the
Clementinum in Prague, where observations (principally of a meteorological
character) were begun in 1722.
Since then the Observatory has undergone several changes, which reflected sometimes professional, sometimes even political and social reorganizations. After the emancipation of our Republic from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the institute was renamed the 'State Astronomical Observatory', and in 1940, it was moved as such to a regular apartment house in Vinohrady (Budecska St.).
Meanwhile (in 1898), a private observatory owned by J. J. Fric was built in a small village called Ondrejov, located 35 km (20 miles) south east of Prague. This small observatory was donated to the state Czechoslovakia represented by Charles University in Prague in 1928.The site of the Ondrejov Observatory, at an elevation of 500 m in the relatively unpolluted environs of Prague, proved to be very well chosen. After the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences was established in 1953, it was merged with the State Astronomical Observatory to create the Astronomical Institute, now belonging to the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. At the time of the division of the Federal Republic into the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic in 1993, the Prague part of the Observatory was moved to new premises in Prague-Sporilov.