It’s a quite deceptive name the Sternwartepark has. In fact it is as much a park as any jungle is. The terrain had never been open to the public, although there were some initiatives which even achieved a plebiscite about this question in the 70s. However, finally they failed and the mysterious compound remained closed.
Growing up in this neighbourhood I passed by I-don’t-know-how-many times, always wondering what might be hidden behind these huge brick walls. In Spring 2013 eventually the Sternwartepark was made accessible, albeit just up to a limited degree.
There are only a few small paths leading through the forest, which has remained untouched for generations, like you won’t find it even somewhere in the boondocks. It’s an absolute wilderness. No silvicultural actions have ever been taken. Dead trees simply lie on the ground offering animals rare opportunities to indwell.
Walking through Sternwartepark you will be bound to believe that you are wandering through a medieval wood. A magical atmosphere, especially if you consider you’re still right in a major city. Take a look at the eponymous old observatory, which construction dates back to the imperial times. The impressive building is located in the very center of Sternwartepark.
The easiest way to get there is by tram 40 or 41 to “Aumannplatz”.
Don’t let the massive iron gate at the corner of Edmund-Weiß-Gasse and Türkenschanzstraße fool you. There is an inconspicuous push-button labeled with “Türtaster”. Press it, and the gate will open.