Meridian instrument shelter (Meridian building), French Heritage monument to Strasbourg

L-shaped, the Meridian building takes its name from the two chaise lounges and rooms it contained originally. Actually, it meets two distinct functions: linked to the Meridian instruments (in the Meridian rooms, oriented along a North-South axis) and linked to both Equatorial sheltered by the cupolas of the western part of the building. Each Meridian room was 10 m and 7 m high. Masonry walls stopped at the floor to extend in the form of an iron frame covered with a double envelope of wood and zinc. Each of the two rooms were equipped with Zenithal traps and tall Windows clearing the meridional plane to allow comments. White canvas covered wooden frames enabled to protect the circles of the Sun during daytime observations. One of the rooms contains the Repsold Meridian circle, still in place today. The two pillars of the instrument based on a central pillar, while 4 other pillars located at the four cardinal points once supported collimators (preserved). The pillars are in brick and each of them consists of 2 concentric hollow cones connected by masonry buttresses. They gathered 2-2 by arcades, so all forms more than a same massif. The hollow pillar contains a passage built for the counterweight cast of the instrument, which is still visible in the crypt to the stars. The other Meridian room contained the Carter circle which was also based on a pillar designed according to the same principle
* However the instrument has only a single pillar support of collimator, placed to the South. In the western part of the same building, two rounds completed by hemi-spherical domes contained, to the North the altazimut, and to the South the scope of 16 cm. The towers are built around hollow pillars close to 15 m tall, with concrete foundations have been leaked to groundwater level to provide maximum stability instrument. It is also for this reason that the pillars are not in contact with the exterior walls and stairs. 2 Domes were the same size (6 m in diameter) and their structural steel is coated with a zinc casing doubled inside a remote wood of the first. The envelope of wood of the southern dome is itself lined with canvas. The opening of the southern dome is done through a hatch which the ends roll on two rails outside the dome at the extremities of a diameter. The North dome did not hatch: its 2 halves away relative to the other, dragging on parallel rails located at the base of the dome. This type of opening was made necessary by the eccentric position of the scope of the altazimut, a classic opening would have required exaggerated size traps. Square terraces allow to circulate around each dome and have their corners of the pillars to ask small instruments of observation. The Meridian building was built between 1877 and 1881 by architect Hermann Eggert following August Winnecke plans. As for the building of the great dome, he also intended to receive instruments, attempts have been made to this building together, thanks to the system of foundations and coverage, the best conditions of stability for the comments. The building was extended in the 1930s by an annex (the building is). A planetarium there is built in 1982 and is currently the location of the Meridian room previously for the Carter circle. In 1987 an exhibition space, the crypt to the stars, is installed under the two chaise lounges and rooms around the pillars supporting the two circles and collimators. Above, the Repsold Meridian circle room is refurbished library in 1995.

Source: Ministry of Culture, France

Meridian instrument shelter (Meridian building)
(Meridian instrument shelter (Meridian building), strasbourg)

Reported to be remarkable heritage of quality.

Structural information

Meridian instrument shelter (Meridian building), L-shaped, the Meridian building takes its name from the two chaise lounges and rooms it contained originally. Actually, it meets two distinct functions: linked (...) Meridian instrument shelter (Meridian building), French Heritage monument to Strasbourg strasbourg, bas rhin

Location and general information

  • identifier : 111604
  • item : Abri d'instrument méridien (bâtiment méridien)
  • Location of the building :
    • Alsace
    • Bas-Rhin
    • Strasbourg
  • Address : 11 rue de l'Université
  • INSEE code of the municipality : 67482
  • Zip code of the municipality : 67000
  • Order in the communal list : 1
  • Name of the building :
    • The building is designated as follows : shelter
  • State :
    • the current state of the monument is not known.

Dates and times

  • Period of construction :
    • We have no information on the time of construction of this monument.
  • Years :
    • 1877
    • 1982
    • 1987
    • 1995
  • Investigation : 2000
  • Date taken into account : 2007/09/28

Construction, architecture and style

  • Materials: 4 elements are used in the main structure of the building.
    • brick
    • ashlar
    • stone
    • sandstone
  • Roofing : Coverage of this building is varied there are 3 different types :
    • terrace
    • dome
    • circular dome
  • Materials (roofing) :
    • the main material of this building is zinc coverage
  • Other about the composition roofs :
    • No information on the coverage of the place.
  • Floors : 3 type of floors in this manual :
    • basement
    • floor height
    • 2 storey square
  • Stairs :
    • No stairs mentioned on this construction.
  • Decoration of the building :
    • No information about decoration.
  • Representation :
    • No information on the ornamentation of the place.
  • Typology :
    • No information about typology.
  • Plan :
    • We do not know the type of plan for this building.

Monument and history of the place

  • Building containing : Observatoire astronomique
  • Elements protected MH (historical monument) :
    • Any particular element of the building is subject to protection in our database.
  • Constituent areas :
    • no information.
  • Parties constituantes étudiées :
    • no information.
  • Use :
    • We do not know the different uses that have been made of this construction.


  • Other : 2 various other information are available
    • property of the State
    • © Université louis pasteur
  • Picture : 5026646a5c502e86341568da9363e732.jpg
  • Involved in the work : Winnecke August (commanditaire)
  • Authors of the survey MH :
    • Issenmann Delphine
    • Davoigneau Jean
    • Le Guet Tully Françoise
  • Mérimée reference : IA67007891

Men involved in this construction

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