The Historic Telegrafenberg - Science and Tradition
The Telegrafenberg site is located at 94 metres elevation, southeast of Potsdam city centre. It is part of a forested area, called ‘Ravensberge’. Here you find the historic science campus ‘Albert Einstein’.
From the Optical Telegraph...
The name ‘Telegrafenberg’ originates from the construction of an optical telegraph on the hill in 1832. It was the fourth of 61 optical telegraphs in a 600 kilometre continuous line between Berlin and Koblenz, through the southern part of former Prussia. This telegram line was instructed by Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm III for broadcasting of military messages. The telegraph worked with two pairs of moveable wings that passed on various signals. With the arrival of radiotelegraphy in 1852, the method of optical telegraphy was abandoned.
...to the emerging Science Park ‘Albert Einstein’
In 1874, the Astrophysical Observatory (today Michelson House) was built at Telegrafenberg in Potsdam. In 1890 the Meteorological Observatory (today Süring House), including the Geomagnetic Observatory, was added. In 1892, the new building of the Geodetic Institute (today Helmert House) was completed. The Great Refractor – main telescope of the Astrophysical Observatory Potsdam – was put into service in 1899. Establishment of the popular Einstein Tower followed from 1919 to 1924.
The brick buildings resemble the style of famous German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Except for the Einstein Tower, all buildings were designed by architect Paul Emanuel Spieker, recreating classical English landscape gardens of the 18th century. The term Science Park ‘Albert Einstein’ has been used since 1992. Today, the GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), the Long-Term Meteorological Station Potsdam, and the Research Unit Potsdam of the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research are all located at the Telegrafenberg site.