Far away comes closer by
Sonnenborgh, Museum – Observatory
This photo was taken around 1895 from where you are standing now.
On top of the hill is a large building with a number of tall masts on top.
It is the establishment of the KNMI, which was started here in 1854, on top of the 16th-century bastion Sonnenborgh.
The bastion cannot be seen from here, but if you take the path along the water, the imposing walls of this defense soon arise.
In the 16th century, cannons became increasingly stronger and easier to move.
A breach in the city wall has been made. Earthen ramparts were supposed to strengthen the city walls.
But that wasn’t sufficient enough for Charles the Fifth, emperor of Germany, king of Spain and lord of Holland.
In 1552 he ordered the construction of four bastions on the city walls of Utrecht.
Sonnenborgh is the best preserved of these.
Only when necessary were these bastions manned with soldiers and cannons.
KNMI, Observatory and Museum
When Sonnenborgh was no longer needed as a defensive structure, the observatory was built on top of the bastion in 1853.
This was followed in 1854 by the first establishment of the KNMI.
The KNMI left, moving to De Bilt in 1897.
In the twentieth century, This observatory remained and grew i into a world-famous science institute, best known for its research resolving around the sun.
Since 2003, Sonnenborgh has been transformed into a museum and public observatory.