Solar Orbiter is a joint mission of ESA and NASA scheduled for launch in 2020. Solar Orbiter is a complete and unique heliophysics mission, combining remote sensing and in-situ analysis; its special elliptical orbit allows viewing the Sun from a distance of only 0.28 AU, and - leaving the ecliptic plane - to observe the solar poles from a hitherto unexplored vantage point. One of the key instruments for Solar Orbiter’s science is the "Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager" (PHI), which will provide maps of the solar surface magnetic fields and the gas flows on the visible solar surface. Two telescopes, a full disc imager, and a high resolution channel feed a common Fabry-Perot based tunable filter and thus allow sampling a single Fraunhofer line at 617.3 nm with high spectral resolution; a polarization modulation system makes the system sensitive to the full state of polarization. From the analysis of the Doppler shift and the magnetically induced Zeeman polarization in this line, the magnetic field and the line-of-sight gas motions can be detected for each point in the image. In this paper we describe the opto-mechanical system design of the high resolution telescope. It is based on a decentred Ritchey-Chrétien two-mirror telescope. The telescope includes a Barlow type magnifier lens group, which is used as in-orbit focus compensator, and a beam splitter, which sends a small fraction of the collected light onto a fast camera, which provides the error signals for the actively controlled secondary mirror compensating for spacecraft jitter and other disturbances. The elliptical orbit of the spacecraft poses high demands on the thermo-mechanical
stability. The varying size of the solar disk image requires a special false-light suppression architecture, which is briefly described. In combination with a heat-rejecting entrance window, the optical energy impinging on the polarimetric and spectral analysis system is efficiently reduced. We show how the design can preserve the diffraction-limited imaging performance over the design temperature range of -20°C to +60°C. The decentred hyperbolical mirrors require special measures for the inter-alignment and their alignment with respect to the mechanical structure. A system of alignment flats and mechanical references is used for this purpose. We will describe the steps of the alignment procedure, and the dedicated optical ground support equipment, which are needed to reach the diffraction limited performance of the telescope. We will also report on the verification of the telescope performance, both - in ambient condition - and in vacuum at different temperatures.