General Information

CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory – the Space for Science is Cork’s fun and exciting location to learn about the Universe.

Over 400 years ago the fortification which is now Blackrock Castle was built at the river Lee where the narrowing channel leads to Cork, and has been part of the city’s history ever since. The 16th century Castle is located 4km from the heart of Cork city and was built by the citizens of Cork as a watch tower and fort to guard the river entrance against pirates and other invaders.

Today the Castle is a science centre and is home to Cosmos at the Castle, an award winning interactive astronomy exhibition which highlights recent scientific discoveries and their implications for life in outer space.

You can send a Message to Space at the Pan Galactic Station and it will be sent at your command via the Castle’s radio telescope and beamed towards nearby stars with known planets in orbit around them.

The Castle is also home to The Comet Chaser, Ireland’s first interactive theatre. In this cinematic gaming experience, you make decisions that directly influence the design of a vital space mission to divert a comet on a crash course to collide with Earth. Using scientific principles to make critical decisions along the way, players in The Comet Chaser determine the outcome of the game.

A working research observatory with a 16” robotic telescope is managed by BCOlαbs at the Castle. This team comprises of a team of researchers from CIT engaged in searching for new planets around distant stars using telescopes at BCO and abroad. As BCOlαbs is a full time research facility public access cannot be granted to the Observatory at this time.

If you’re interested in stargazing then the Castle hosts free monthly open evenings, First Fridays at the Castle, on the first Friday of every month. From 6pm you will enjoy family-friendly hands-on workshops, astronomy lectures, the Cork Science Café and weather dependent stargazing.

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Access and Facilities


Opening Hours

  • Sunday to Friday: 10:00-17:00
  • Saturday and holidays: 11:00-17:00

Please note last admission is 16:00. The castle closes at 17:00 and viewing the exhibits takes approximately 1 hour.


Cafe Venue For Hire Gift Shop Parking Bathroom Facilities


Phone+353 (21)435-7917
AddressCIT Blackrock Castle Observatory Blackrock Cork, Ireland

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