When you’re passing through the cities Espenau or Fuldatal north of Kassel, Germany you might see a strangely shaped tower on a hill – the Häuschensberg. It is the Volkssternwarte Rothwesten, an observatory above the village Rothwesten belonging to Fuldatal. It was finished in 1963 and offers the possibility to look at the stars – free of charge. At its location there was since 1912 a look-out tower that collapsed and was never repaired.
The initiator of the project, Georg Spitzer, started to plan the observatory in 1950. Nine years later a local company could build the tower while Spitzer worked on a wooden cupola. The plan was to bring the cupola up with a helicopter of the US forces in Germany – but the Cuba crisis delayed this project. Today the Volkssternwarte Rothwesten has three telescopes suitable for different tasks – and still offers education for free by a team of volunteers.