Astronomical Observatory of Tavira

The old water tower was built around 1931 and its main task, was to supply water to the whole city. Although it has not been used for a long time, it has always been a charismatic and extraordinary building. It was since then renovated and converted into a point of cultural interest and a unique tourist attraction: the Tower of Tavira, an Astronomical Observatory with the installation of the first Camera Obscura in the Algarve.

The Astronomical Observatory of Tavira (near the Castle) it's composed by a rotating mirror and two magnifying glasses (lenses) fixed to the end of a tube which is attached to the apex of the roof of the water tower. It's a kind of periscope, which captures live images of the city and its surroundings and sends them to the inside of the tower onto a horizontal screen, which has a diameter of two meters. Through a window the light gets in, falls onto the mirror, passes the lenses and reflects the image onto the screen. In real time the Astronomical Observatory sends you on a 360 degree voyage, showing you everything that happens outside the water tower.

Adress and Contact Details

Calçada da Galeria, nº 12 8800-306 Tavira, Algarve +351 281 321754

Opening and Closing Hours

1 June to 30 September – 10:00 to 20:00

1 October to 31 May – 10:00 to 17:00

Open every day, except Sunday in Winter, 25 December and 1 January.


Standard – €3.50

Seniors – €2.80