The Nice Observatory (French: Observatoire de Nice) is an astronomical observatory located in Nice, France on the summit of Mount Gros. The observatory was founded in 1879, by the banker Raphaël Bischoffsheim. The architect was Charles Garnier, and Gustave Eiffel designed the main dome.
|Location||Mont Gros, Nice, France|
|Altitude||372 m (1,220 ft)|
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In 1886 the largest refracting (i.e., with an objective lens rather than a mirror) telescope in the World made its debut at Nice Observatory, the Grand Lunette.
The 77 cm (30 in) refractor telescope made by Henry and Gautier became operational around 1886–1887, was the largest in a privately funded observatory, and the first at such high altitude (325 m or 1,066 ft above sea level). It was slightly bigger in aperture, several metres longer, and located at a higher altitude than the new (1895) 76 cm (30 in) at Pulkovo observatory in the Russian Empire, and the 68 cm (27 in) at Vienna Observatory (completed early 1880s). In the records for the largest refracting telescopes all three were outperformed by the 91 cm (36 in) refractor installed at the Lick Observatory at 1,283 m altitude in 1889.
- Henri Perrotin (1880–1904)
- General J. A. L. Bassot (1904–1917)
- Gaston Fayet (1917–1962)
- Jean-Claude Pecker (1962–1969)
- Philippe Delache (1969–1972)
- Jean-Paul Zahn (1972–1975)
- Philippe Delache (1975)
- Jean-Paul Zahn (1975–1981)
- Raymond Michard (1981-1989)
- Philippe Delache (1989–1994)
- José Pacheco (1994–1999)
- Jacques Colin (1999–2009)
- Farrokh Vakili (2009–2015)
- Thierry Lanz (since 2015)
The 77-centimetre (30 in) refractor at Nice Observatory, when built the world's largest, longest, and highest refracting telescope 
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