In 1935 Philips employees set up a special club of people, interested in astronomy and meteorology. They wanted to build their own observatory. Anton Philips, a Dutch entrepeneur, thought it was a good idea and donated the money. Also, the municipality of Eindhoven cooperated and the wish of building an observatory became reality. Because of Philips’ donation, the observatory was named after him ‘Dr. A.F. Philips Observatorium’. Louis Kalff was the designer of the building and he later designed the Evoluon museum in Eindhoven. In 1936 they started building the observatory in the ‘Stadswandelpark’ in Eindhoven. In 1938 it was officially opened and since then it has been a great place to visit in Eindhoven at night.
The observatory is open every day. You can also request a guided tour. But if you want to see Eindhoven at night, the main activities are the stargazing evenings. From September to March, every first and third Tuesday of the month a stargazing evening is being organised. Because it gets dark late in the summer, they don’t have those evenings. However, in April, March and June you can look through a sun telescope.
A stargazing night takes 2 to 2,5 hours. It starts at 7-8 PM and it only costs €3,- per person. For kids under 18 it’s €2,- per person. It is possible to go with a group.
Something to keep in mind is that you have to climb some stairs to get to the telescope. People in a wheelchair or people that can’t walk stairs are not able to participate in a stargazing evening. Moreover, it is not something to do on a very cloudy day. Even on bad days it is possible to stargaze but when trying to look at the stars, you see much less of it.
The observatory is easily accessible. If you go by car you can park in the Alberdingk Thijmlaan for free. If you live a little further away and you come by train, you have to take the bus. From the central station you take bus 7, 317, 318 or 407 to Eindhoven Looiakkerstraat. From that bus stop you’ll have to walk around 7 minutes through the park to get to the observatory.