Technological and scientific developments during the past century made a new branch of astronomy flourish, i.e. astrophysics, and resulted in our present deep understanding of the whole Universe. But this brought astrometry almost to extinction because it was considered to be dull and old-fashioned, especially by young astronomers. Astrometry is the much older branch of astronomy, in fact 2000 years of age, which performs accurate measurements of positions, motions and distances of stars and other celestial bodies. Astrometric data are of great scientific and practical importance for investigation of celestial phenomena and also for control of telescopes and satellites and for monitoring of Earth rotation. Our main subject is the development during the 20th century which finally made astrometry flourish as an integral part of astronomy through the success of the Hipparcos astrometric satellite, soon to be followed by the even more powerful Gaia mission.