Pulkovskaya Observatory (Пулковская Обсерватория)
One of the places to visit on weekend meanwhile you are staying in Saint Petersburg would be the Pulkovskaya observatory located in the Moskovskii region (Mосковский район) near the airport.
It was inaugurated by the astronomer Friedrich Wilhem von Struve in 1839; there only certain activities were allowed and could be carry out, such as star’s coordinates and precessions determination and the binary stars discovery. On its 50th anniversary, a new laboratory was built in order to continue the solar system’s investigation.
Unfortunately, during the siege of Leningrad, the place was completely destroyed, burned and even the scientists working there arrested and executed. However, the soviet government decided to rebuild it at the end of the war and it was reopened in 1954, they even made it bigger, they brought better and modern investigation instruments, new employees were hired and conducted new investigation researches.
Right now is not only a laboratory, but a museum as well where you will be able to find geophysics instruments, antiquities, modern telescopes, astronomic watches and astronomer refractor, that show the difficulties and wonders of the astronomic discoveries.
In order to visit it, you should book a place in one of the excursions they have from Monday to Thursday from 10.00 to 16.00. The cost of the entrance is 5600 rubles and for students 5200 rubles (the prices are per group); every excursion is up to 20 people and you can make your booking to these numbers: 946-59-15 (this one is a mobile) 363-72-98. Nevertheless, you need to organize your own group.
You can take the underground’s blue line to Moskovskoya, when you go out of the station you will find several buses and marshrutki (маршрутки) that drive along Pulkovskii shosse and you can ask to the driver to leave you in the observatory.