A toroidal grating monochromator designed for operation in the soft X-ray region at the synchrotron radiation source BESSY is described. With three in situ interchangeable gratings the instrument covers the spectral range 180 to 1150 eV. The current (source size-limited) resolution is 0.39, 0.7 and 2.6 eV at photon energies of 250, 400 and 800 eV, respectively. The photon flux is typically 8 × 10 11photons s-1 (100 mA) -1 (∆ h̵ω) -1. Photoemission experiments on free molecules and on solid surfaces have been used to demonstrate the performance of the monochromator.