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Maragheh observatory
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Maragheh observatory

Maragheh observatory is a memorial monument of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi, which is located in East Azerbaijan province.

Maragheh observatory was built under the control of Nasir al-Din al-Tusi in the Hulagu Khan era. Nasir al-Din al-Tusi was a Persian polymath, architect, philosopher, physician, scientist, and theologian. Maragheh observatory built on a hill, west of Maragheh between Taleb Khan and Haji Kord village. You will see Lake Urmia on this hill. Currently, the foundation of some parts and sextant (astronomical) have remained. This observatory contains a library with four thousand books and astronomical instruments such as Armillary sphere, and Ilkhanic Tables.

Maragheh observatory


  • History

Maragheh observatory was not just for watching the stars. It was also a large scientific organization which most branches of knowledge had taught there. Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi, a Persian scientist who discovered the cause of forming a rainbow, had taught at Maragheh observatory. Also, Euclid's Elements and Almagest had taught by a Christian philosopher.

Maragheh observatory


  • cooprating

    To build the observatory and astronomical instruments, Nasir al-Din al-Tusi used the art and science of the scientists of his period. Because of his activities, he succeeded to return the scientists who had escaped of Mongol conquest, create a science center, and assigned each scientist to control some part without considering their nationality or religion. Nasir al-Din al-Tusi determined the salaries of each person due to the requirement of society as follows:
    • The salary for a Mathematician and a philosopher was three AED, every day.
    • The salary for a physician was two AED, every day.
    • The salary for a jurist (Faqih) was one AED, every day.
    • The salary for a muhaddith was a haft AED, every day.


  • Architecture

The main building of the observatory was constructed like a cylindrical tower. The library and accommodation of the employees were placed next to the main building. A dome has built above some part during the last years to protect the remains of the Maragheh observatory.


  • Ilkhanic Tables

 Nasir al-Din al-Tusi has codified the Ilkhanic Tables due to his observation at the Maragheh observatory. The oldest version of Ilkhanic Tables is kept at the National Library of France.


  • What is the best time to go?

Maragheh has a cold and humid climate. The best time to visit the Maragheh observatory in terms of weather is from late April to late September. The highest temperature during Summer is about 35 ° C, and the lowest temperature during Winter is 20 ° C.    


  • Getting there?

Maragheh observatory is located on Rasadkhaneh Street, Vali-Asr Boulevard. You can ride a bus and get off at 12-Metri Golha Street. It is a 23-minute walk from the bus station to Maragheh observatory.



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