With a long tradition since 1888, Urania Berlin has established itself as one of the leading centers of dialog between science, the humanities and the public, and is today a renown society well beyond the borders of Germany. Every day Urania disseminates new first-hand knowledge, covering a wide range of scientific fields ranging from anthropology to zoology. Leading scientists deliver lectures and talks in their areas of research and on a general level of understanding for a broad audience. Urania provides its visitors with access to knowledge on the latest discoveries in scientific research and facilitates dialogue between science and the public.
Lectures on contemporary issues in the areas of natural sciences, the humanities, medicine and health, as well as foreign countries and cultures are included in the Urania's program of events. Panel discussions on sociopolitical and commercial topics, seminars on psychology and artistic presentations are also hosted. The wide range of events for visitors of all ages also includes performances of the children’s ballet, health days, concerts, café-lectures, musicals, and workshops. In the foyers of Urania, permanent and changing exhibitions on various topics can be visited and are free of charge.
In addition, Urania offers approximately 60 educational travel excursions that are hosted by highly qualified tour guides. Every year, about 400 guest events such as theatrical performances, concerts as well as conferences and congresses in the fields of health care, economics, and politics take place at the Urania. Furthermore, specialized fairs, information days with well-known guests, and program highlights provide the opportunity to extensively catch up on up-to-date topics which are important to modern day life and life-styles.
Urania is equipped with highly modern technical equipment, a theatrical stage, and a cinema hall, which provide all technical possibilities that are needed for multi-media lectures, experimental performances, cinematographic works, including theater and cabaret. As the biggest arthouse cinema in Berlin, Urania offers a versatile film program. Urania accomplishes all of this without any institutional funding.
The Association Urania Berlin e.V.
Urania is one of the largest nonprofit associations in Berlin and is primarily financed by its members. Companies can also become members, thus providing attractive benefits for their employees. Some of corporate members of Urania include Siemens AG, Technical University Berlin, and the Grönemeyer-Institut for MicroTherapy Bochum.
Through financial support of sponsors and donations, Urania is able to carry out its multifaceted tasks. Companies like Siemens, Microsoft, or the Technologiestiftung Berlin promote projects at the Urania.
Urania is advised though a highly distinguished and accomplished board of trustees representing the areas of science, economics, and culture, including the presidents of the Berlin Universities, the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the Helmholtz Association.
Urania is also comprised of an executive committee that consists of six members, as well as 19 employees who are responsible for the event planning and delivery.
The Urania building complex is located at the intersection of An der Urania and Kleist-Strasse. There are eleven rooms with seating capacity from 70 to 866, as well as several foyers and a bistro. For visitors travelling by car, a parking lot is available on Kleist-Strasse.
Scientific education for everyone and the communication of knowledge by those who are experts in their fields – that is Urania’s formula for success which can be traced back to Alexander von Humboldt. Its founders Wilhelm Foerster, Max Wilhelm Meyer and Werner von Siemens functioned as the pioneers of an establishment, that since 1888 has served as a scientific theater, public observatory, and chamber of physics under the coined name "Urania". Urania was the first “science center” in the world and has been replicated domesticly and abroad.
In the course of its educational activity, Urania has hosted great personalities, among them Nobel-Prize winners like Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Heinrich Böll, Michail Gorbatschow, Gert Binning, Rudolf Mössbauer, and Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard, politicians like Willy Brandt, Helmut Kohl, Richard von Weizsäcker, Hans-Jochen Vogel, and Angela Merkel, scientists like Rudolf Kippenhahn, Anton Zeilinger, Kip Thorne, and Gert Heuer, musicians and writers like Günter Grass, Max Frisch, Kurt Masur, Sir Simon Rattle, and many others.