The precursor of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory was a small private observatory that was founded at the beginning of the 20th century by the rich amateur N. Mal'tsov on mount Koshka near the little town of Simeiz. This observatory was gradually enlarged but was completely destroyed in the Second World War. Building of the new observatory on the current site was started in 1945. The observatory houses modern optical reflecting telescopes with diameters of 1.20 and 2.65 m (3.94 and 8.69 feet). It also operates several small radio telescopes, the most important of which is a high-precision, steerable paraboloid, 22 m (72 feet) in diameter.