An excursion in Tõravere consists of several parts and is a walking tour from the main building to the visitors’ centre in the 1.5 m telescope building.  The total length of the walk is approximately 500 metres.



A sundial was opened in front of the main building of the observatory on May 26th 2008. This day marked the 200th anniversary of the Tartu Observatory[URL] (1808) and 50 years from the start of building works in Tõravere (1958). The sundial is designed by two sculptors from Tartu Art College – Bruno Kadak and Rein Maantoa.



Stone-mosaic map

A mosaic map of constellations according to Estonian folk-astronomy is in the main building of the observatory. The map was assembled from ca 400 kg of colourful pebbles collected from the north coast of Estonia by artist Lagle Israel in 1964. 


Zeissi torn

Smaller telescopes

Along the walking path there are a several smaller scale telescopes. One houses a 60 cm mirror-size Zeiss telescope for photometric observations?


Maketi istutamine

Scale model of the solar system

A model of the planets of the solar system was planted along the walking path in 1997. Each planet is represented by a thuja tree. Distances of planets from the Sun and from each other are scaled at the ratio of 1 metre on the ground = 40 million kilometres in space. The large asteroid belts in the solar system are marked in the model by large boulders.


Kuppelmaastik läbi Kollase akna

The Yellow Window

The National Geographic Society initiated the Yellow Window campaign in Southern Estonia and Northern Latvia in 2012. The yellow windows present the nature, culture and history of South Estonia – in Tõravere you can see through the window science and nature living in harmony.


Suur torn
1.5m teleskoop

1.5m telescope

Along the road with the model of the solar system you reach the largest telescope in the Nordic Countries. Its 1.5 m diameter mirror telescope is used to conduct spectral analyses of variable stars. 




Stellarium is a visitors’ centre in the telescope building with exhibits and shows on popular astronomy.