World  Travel  Reportage 

Photos, videos, travel reportages, culture, nature and sports by professional reporters

facebook logo

Pic du Midi de Bigorre (France)

France - Curiosity - Back to index
By: Carlo Piccinelli

Pic di Midi de Bigorre on Google Maps.
On the top of Mount Pic du Midì de Bigorre, at 2877 m in  French Pyrenees, there is one of France's most important astronomical and meteorological observation centers. Consisting of eight domes and several different telescopes, the observatory was very important for the history of world astronomy. The work to smooth the tip of the mountain to build buildings began in 1875 and in 1907 the first 50 cm diameter telescope was installed. The construction of the first cableway in 1952 gave astronomers the opportunity to work in the observatory all year long and so other domes were built and other telescopes were installed. In 1963, NASA financed the installation of a telescope of 106 cm of diameter to photograph in detail the lunar surface and choose where to land with the Apollo mission. The Pic du Midi de Bigorre today is a tourist destination not only for professional and amateur astronomers but also for skiers who use the cable car to reach the off track ski and for tourists visiting astronomical observers. Thanks to a restaurant and some of the hotel's rooms, you can spend an unforgettable night with the stars.
Useful links for more informations: