Mirasteilas Observatory, Falera

Lookout · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
The Mirasteilas Observatory is an astronomical observatory in Falera in the canton of Grisons in Switzerland. With its 90-centimeter telescope it is the largest publicly accessible observatory in Switzerland.
In 2001, the Portuguese-born local community member Jos√© De Queiroz, innkeeper in Falera and a member of the Astronomical Society of the Grisons (Graub√ľnden), organized for the first time an astronomy meeting in Falera. Owing to its easy accessibility, its elevated position on a terrace with a broad sky to the west, south and east and low light pollution, the place offers ideal conditions for observing celestial bodies.
During the next telescope meeting in Falera in 2002 the question was raised whether an observatory could be created here. The municipal council recognized that the construction of an observatory could be a big gain for the village, since no similar investment had been made in the Grisons by that time. Members of the municipal council and the Astronomical Society of the Grisons then visited several observatories in eastern Switzerland to learn about observatories. A suitable location was then found in Falera a few minutes outside the village by the ski slope with the ski lift for children.
On 11 September 2002, a working group was created and the architectural firm of Schneider & Cathomas from Falera took over the planning of the observatory. On 5 December 2005 the town meeting granted a loan of 690,000 Swiss Francs for the construction of the observatory. In addition to the observatory a small restaurant for visitors was to be built for the visitors of the ski slope. A foundation was established with the municipality Falera, the AAG and Flims-Laax-Falera tourism as members. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on 9 May 2006 and the restaurant was opened in winter 2006/2007. Since the delivery of the large telescope was slightly delayed, the observatory was put into operation only on 22 June 2007.
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