Decrease font size Increase font size Print this page Français

Observatories > Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur


The "observatoire de la Côte d'Azur" is made of : 

- the Nice Observatory on the hill named"le Mont-Gros" in Nice founded in 1881 

- the astronomers of theCERGA (Centre de Recherches en Géodésie Spatiale) formerly in Grasse 

- the Calern Observatory
These three entities have a different past and history : 

Nice Observatory

Credit : observatoire de Nice

Credit : OCA
The refractor named "grande lunette", the fourth in the world for the diameter of the lens 

Founded in 1881 by R. Bischoffsheim, Nice Observatory has been built on the "Mont-Gros" in Nice. It was equipped since the origin by the "grande lunette" a powerful refractor sheltered by a dome built by Eiffel on a building designed by Garnier, the architect of the "Opéra de Paris".

Founded :  1881
Activities :  hydrodynamics and non-linear dynamics, celestial mechanics 
atomic physics  
stellar physics
welcoming the general public :  tour every Wednesday and Saturday at 14h45 (start at the entrance of the observatory) 
groups on reservation
Phone :  33(4)92 00 31 12
e-mail :
web site:
Address :  Grande Corniche 
Le Mont-Gros 
BP 4229 
F-06304 Nice Cedex 04
Phone :  33(4) 92 00 30 11 
Contact "teachers" : 
(for all sites)
Yves Rabbia (
Phone : 04 93 40 53 59
Dominique Rivet (
Phone : 04 92 00 30 07


The former CERGA in Grasse

Credit : CERGA
The site of Roquevignon, nowadays closed.

The CERGA (Centre de recherches en Géodésie et Astrométrie) was only a laboratory gathering astronomers and researchers without any telescope there. They work on geodesy, stellar catalogues and celestial mechanics. They used telescopes of the Calern site. The CERGA site was built in 1974 and closed in 2012.


Calern Observatory

Credit : OCA
General view of the Calern site

Credit : OCA
The interferometric telescopes GI2T

Credit : OCA
Laser to the Moon

The Calern site is an observing station with a Schmidt telescope, a 1m-telescope for laser to the Moon Lune and with interferometric telescopes. 

Founded :  1974
Activities :  observing station
Welcoming the general public :  tour every Sunday
from May to September, departure 15h15
price 6€ adult 3€ child
Phone : 33(4) 92 00 31 12
e-mail :
Address :  2130 route de Caussols 
F-06460 Caussols
Phone :  33(4) 93 40 54 54