To do at the Tycho Brahe museum
The Naked Eye
Tycho Brahe was unique. The foremost astronomer of the Renaissance created the world’s most modern observatory on Ven. It was here he questioned the thousand-year-old laws that were said to govern the universe. It was here he performed calculations that would remain valid for three hundred years. It was here he identified and named 777 stars with his Naked Eye. The exhibition deals with Tycho Brahe, both as a person and a scientist as well as everyday and court life at Uraniborg.
Insula Hvæna – about the 16th century citizens
The Tycho Brahe Museum wants to create an experience channel to the 16th century, that not only tells about the nobility and science. In the digital exhibition “Insula Hvæna” we also meet the natives of the 16th century – the farmers, the fishermen and the children in the village.
Uraniborg – piece by piece
Experience Uraniborg from the inside and meet some of those who lived and worked here! Together with historical objects from the castle, some of its most exciting rooms are are displayed in a digital reconstruction.
Tycho Brahe’s castle Uraniborg was completed in 1580, in its construction unique for its time. Less than 40 years later it was demolished and only fragments remain.
A reconstructed Renaissance Garden
Tycho Brahe’s castle Uraniborg was surrounded by an amazing botanical garden. According to renaissance ideals it was shaped into squares, triangles and circles. The idea was that the garden would reproduce the Garden of Eden. Fruits and herbs, which were later used in Tycho Brahe’s alchemical medicine works, were cultivated here.
When Tycho left Ven, his facility was gradually destroyed. Starting in the 1990s, about half of the garden has been reconstructed. Among other things, plants that are known to have grown in Danish castle and monastery gardens in the 16th century have been planted.
Today, the garden consists of two parts. A quartile is planted the way we believe the garden once looked. In the second quartile, the plants are set according to their medicinal function and areas of use.
The recreation of the garden has been carried out in collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Alnarp.
An underground observatory
The ruin of Tycho Brahe’s underground observatory is one of the museum’s highlights, as it contains original remains of his facilities at Ven. The observatory was built in 1584 as a more weather-protected location of observation than the balconies at the castle Uraniborg which, until then, harbored Tycho’s instruments. It was here Brahe and his assistants performed the most precise measurements of the positions and movements of the universe up to that time. These were later the basis for Johannes Kepler’s revolutionary interpretation of our solar system.
Like Tycho Brahe’s other buildings, Stjärneborg was also demolished. However, in the 20th century the remains were excavated and covered with a reconstruction of the original buildings above ground. Where Tycho’s instruments previously were stored, scaled copies have now been placed.
At this historic site, visitors are able to watch a seven minute sound and light show, depicting a night with observations under Tycho’s direction. The show starts once a quarter – tickets can be bought and seat reservations made at the entrance of the museum.
Play and learning for big and small
Spinning tops, bowls, skittles, marbles, running and jumping! Try your hand at 14 types of games dating back to the 1500s.
In the historical playground you can choose to test your strength in a tug of war, try to knock each other from a log with pillows or compete in an older variant of curling. Each station is equipped with instructions and information about the game.
A trail, leading from the museum to the mainland
On the island of Ven, there is a path with models of planets. This path aims to give you an idea of the planets’ distance from each other, the attributes of each planet and the wayTycho Brahe studied them.
In its design, the path is heliocentric, with the sun placed in front of the Tycho Brahe Museum, today located in Allhelgonakyrkan (All Saints Church). From there, the path continues down to Cykeluthyrningen (the bike rental place) just above Bäckviken. It also works fine to start with Saturn, the sixth planet from the Sun, which is the last planet that would have been visible for Tycho Brahe. Hike along Landsvägen and look for the planet-shaped signs along the edge of the trail.
The signs describe the planets in both Swedish and English. The planets listed on the signs are marked and their sizes are scaled to match the model of the sun at the museum. The distances between the planets are also according to scale. In this way the path of planets represents a miniature solar system, with a hiking distance of approximately 1.5 km (1 mile).
Photo: Mickael Tannus, Janne Jönsson