© Catrin Schmitt

The Urania Berlin

The forum for the curious

For more than 130 years, the Urania has been communicating scientific knowledge to a broad public and thus stands for the democratisation of knowledge and the facilitation of cultural participation like no other institution.

Since 1888, the cultural and educational association Urania e.V. has acted as a knowledge forum for all citizens; since 1962, this has been done at the current location with the address so associated with the institution: An der Urania 17. It is here, in the combined premises of the Gründerzeit old building and the then newly constructed extension building, that the Urania has continued to develop into what it is today: a centre of dialogue between science, culture, politics and a diverse society. A place that promotes understanding and exchange. (More about the history of the Urania).

In its numerous events, the Urania communicates the latest scientific findings at first hand. Generally understandable and accessible to all, scientists, researchers and experts in their respective fields provide unique insights into their work.

The Urania, its guests and speakers impart knowledge in five programme areas:

  • Innovation and technology
  • Art and Culture
  • Worlds, Travel and Berlin
  • Man and Nature
  • Politics, Economy and Society

In the course of its history, the Urania has repeatedly hosted renowned personalities as speakers, including Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Heinrich Böll, Max Frisch, Günter Grass, Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, Helmut Kohl, Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and Gesine Schwan.

Aims of the Urania
Scientific education and participation for all and the communication of knowledge by those who have themselves newly gained it: this traditional recipe for success of the Urania goes back to Alexander von Humboldt. The astronomers Wilhelm Foerster, Max Wilhelm Meyer and the inventor and entrepreneur Ernst Werner von Siemens were the energetic founders of an institution which, from 1888 onwards, coined the term Urania as a scientific theatre, public observatory and physical cabinet and subsequently inspired the founding and establishment of similar establishments and institutions in Germany and abroad.

As a platform for cultural education and science mediation, the cultural association Urania Berlin e.V. continues to address a broad public today. With its diverse and versatile programme, the Urania is still an institution in the service of the public good and a forum for exchange with national appeal. The necessity of the Urania's work and its goals have not changed since 1888, on the contrary: more than ever, imparting knowledge and facilitating understanding and exchange is an enormously important task in a democratic society.

In addition to the knowledge transfer programmes, hundreds of guest events take place at the Urania every year, including conferences, congresses and cultural events. These include events with an economic or scientific focus, trade fairs and information days in the fields of health, society, culture and research. The Urania thus also offers a space for dialogue in a professional environment. Equipped with modern projection and lecture technology, with stages and two cinema halls, the Urania offers all the necessary framework conditions for excellent scientific lectures, experimental demonstrations, video and cinema film projection, right up to theatre and concerts. The Urania does all this without basic institutional funding.

The Urania Berlin e.V. Association
The Urania is one of the largest non-profit associations in Berlin. In addition to income from membership fees and admission charges, the cultural association is mainly financed by renting out space as an event centre. Support from our partners and donations also enable the Urania to fulfil its diverse tasks.

The Urania is advised by a prominent board of trustees, which includes representatives from science, business and culture.

The Urania Berlin e.V. association works with a six-member board. Chairperson is Gabriele Thöne, lawyer and former state secretary. The association is supported in programme planning and realisation by a highly committed team. The work of Urania Berlin e.V. is carried out in accordance with its statutes.