An observatory is a structure that holds a large telescope for observing the stars and planets or some celestial event. If you want to check out a lunar eclipse, then head to your nearest observatory.
Observatories for examining the distant sky are typically located far from large cities, since light pollution makes it more difficult to see celestial bodies like stars and planets, or events like meteor showers. Another kind of observatory is quite simply a very tall, often skinny building meant for looking down over a city or its coastline. Observatory comes from the verb observe, or "watch," which in turn is rooted in the Latin observare, "watch over or guard."