Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

AROUND SLOVAKIA

Štefánik tower replicas now at Partizánske observatory

THE OBSERVATORY in Partizánske now houses replicas of two concrete observatory towers that were built by Milan Rastislav Štefánik, the Slovak statesman, astronomer and world traveller, in 1911 to observe a total eclipse of the sun on April 28 of that year on the Pacific island of Vava’u.

THE OBSERVATORY in Partizánske now houses replicas of two concrete observatory towers that were built by Milan Rastislav Štefánik, the Slovak statesman, astronomer and world traveller, in 1911 to observe a total eclipse of the sun on April 28 of that year on the Pacific island of Vava’u.

František Kele, head of last year’s expedition that tracked Štefánik’s activities as an astronomer on islands in the Pacific, was able to find the original towers on Vava’u and documents about their construction. He told the TASR newswire that the observation towers are a unique part of the cultural heritage of Slovakia.

“I came to the conclusion in 2009 that it would be great to bring the towers back to Slovakia; this site is the only palpable evidence of Štefánik’s activities in the southern hemisphere,” Kele stated. Later he was advised by a friend and several astronomers that the original towers should stay where they were “born” and he agreed and decided to make replicas.

Kele added that the public response to the discovery of the original towers was enormous. Several Slovak expat associations from Sydney in Australia have shown interest in taking care of the observatory towers in the coming years. “Without due care, the towers are condemned to disintegrate,” Kele said.

The idea to place the replicas in the Partizánske observatory was supported by the Association of M. R. Štefánik, which has a strong and active branch in this town in western Slovakia. “Our expedition to the Pacific was under the auspices of this association,” Kele added. There are plans to add a model telescope from that period to each tower so they provide a complete image of how they were used by Štefánik. Vava’u is a tropical island that is part of the Kingdom of Tonga and lies in the South Pacific Ocean.

Top stories

Quidditch becomes reality in Slovakia as first teams emerge Video

The wizard sport, fighting for its status in the real sports world, has won the hearts of some Slovaks.

Top stories from Last Week in Slovakia Video

Voters’ indifference affects regional votes - Can Slovaks be lured back from Britain? - Petit Press majority owner dies

Foreigners: Top 10 events in Bratislava Video

Tips for the top 10 events in the capital between October 20 and October 29, plus regular services in different languages, training, temporary exhibitions and highlights of the year.

International Halloween Party

Babiš did not re-write the past

Constitutional Court decided in favour of National Memory Institute which included Andrej Babiš in its list of communist secret service confindants.

Slovak-born Czech Finance Minister Andrej Babiš