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Royal Observatory, Greenwich

801 of 1170 nominations


Royal Observatory, Greenwich

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Royal Observatory, Greenwich

A visit to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, should give you a sense of your own time and place in the universe. It marks the site of the Prime Meridian, the centre of world time and space. The Prime Meridian is the longitudinal centre of the world – just as the Equator marks the latitudinal centre – and every east-west measurement is made from here. Using Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), it’s also the official starting point for every day, year and millennium. (To read about mechanical clock time, click here.)

Part of Greenwich Maritime, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Observatory, which was founded by Charles II in 1675, overlooks Greenwich Park in south-east London. It is no longer a centre of astronomical investigation, but its displays, galleries and planetarium provide a historical and scientific resource that belongs to all of us. A £15 million redevelopment will soon provide a new state-of-the-art planetarium and galleries. The Time Galleries open in spring of 2006, with the Space Galleries and planetarium due to open a year later.


Your comments

Before atomic clocks, Greenwich was the standard for time keeping. The observatory was made more famous by the book and movie "Longitude"--the story of the time pieces made by John Harrison, and how keeping accurate account of longitude changed navigation--and the world.

Cyril Gorman

If the rest of the world sets its clocks by GMT, how can the Royal Observatory not be a cultural icon of Great Britain?
Michael Patella

Greenwich Observatory should be nominated because it is where the Meridan line was started from there and for Greenwich Mean Tiime.
Katrine Estella Basso

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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer