The Planetarium Mannheim is one of the largest plantariums in Germany and with 120 000 visitors per year also one of the best visited ones.
One of the world’s first planetariums was opened in Mannheim in 1927. It was located in the lower Luisenpark and had a 24.5 metre dome with 514 seats. The projection device was a Model II from Carl Zeiss Jena.
The old planetarium was only in operation for 16 years, as the dome was badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943 and was not rebuilt, but completely demolished ten years later. Since about 1975, a citizens’ initiative has been trying to rebuild the planetarium.
It was finally erected not far from its old location on Europaplatz in Wilhelm-Varnholt-Allee and inaugurated on 2 December 1984. Initially, there was room for around 280 spectators under the 20-metre projection dome. The projection equipment was initially the “Model VI” built by Zeiss in Oberkochen, the world’s most powerful planetarium projector at the time. In the years from 1984 to the present day, numerous technical improvements were installed, such as a show laser system, devices or large-screen video projectors.
In October 2002, the projection equipment was replaced by a 3-million-euro, ultra-modern high-tech device, the “Universarium” from Carl Zeiss Jena. With its fibre optics, the stars can now be shown absolutely realistically and in unsurpassed brilliance.
In summer 2015, the FullDome video system was modernised. This digital 360° projection technology in combination with the tried-and-tested star projector, which was converted to LED lighting in May 2020, not only lets the night sky shine in unsurpassed brilliance, but also takes you into the depths of space in unprecedented quality. This can be enjoyed in any weather and at any time of day in 220 comfortable swivel and tilt armchairs.