Holland Habitation,Netherlands,Sights,Travel

Visiting the Eise Eisinga Planetarium

Well, as I told you last week, the next stop on our little holiday road-trip around the Netherlands was the town of Franeker, in Friesland, to visit the Eise Eisinga Planetarium. I had read an article about quirky things to do in the North of the Netherlands and this one sounded the most interesting. Friesland is a province of the Netherlands (where Friesian horses come from!) and the town of Franeker is a lovely little canal town not far from Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland.

Photo 30-07-2015 01 54 43 pm

We parked the car and headed for the planetarium, although I became a bit distracted by this quirky little crooked building along the way:

Photo 30-07-2015 01 49 53 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 01 53 13 pm

Notice the Friesian flag there, with little hearts on it? So cute! Although I think they might be supposed to be tulips rather than hearts, but still, it’s a cute flag. ~UPDATE~ A friendly (Friesian, I think) person on twitter let me know that these are actually Pompeblêden – meant to represent the leaves of a water-lily and a heraldic device. Fancy that! Read more about them here. Always nice to know people are reading the blog and I don’t mind being corrected because I like to get my facts straight. Thanks to @Kalti on twitter 🙂

This little canalside building turned out to be another (tiny) little museum piece called the Korendragerhuisje. It’s only one little room, but has some displays about grain harvesting in the area. Oh and it’s free!

Photo 30-07-2015 02 43 36 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 43 54 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 42 59 pm

I loved the building itself, which was built in 1634, and the lovely old house it stood next to.

Photo 30-07-2015 02 42 45 pm

We continued up the street a little way, and came to the main attraction – the planetarium!

Photo 30-07-2015 01 56 32 pm

Basically, this planetarium and museum is in a canal-house, where wool-carder Eise Eisinga decided to build a working model of the solar system on his living room ceiling (as you do)! What’s especially interesting is that he didn’t have any formal education in astronomy and was a completely self-taught amateur who managed to create an accurate moving model of the solar system (that still works to this day) in his living room.

Photo 30-07-2015 02 25 06 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 23 37 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 26 02 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 25 59 pm

He built it between the years of 1774 and 1781 to show people that there would be no reason to panic when a conjunction of planets was due to occur on the 8th of May 1774. Apparently people believed that the planets were going to collide with each other and cause the Earth to be pulled from its orbit and then incinerated by the sun!

As you go up some (VERY steep) stairs to the next level you can see the mechanism he used to keep the planets in motion.

Photo 30-07-2015 02 05 46 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 05 13 pm

Mind your head!

Photo 30-07-2015 02 04 47 pm

The house itself is interesting, Dutch people must have been a lot shorter back then, as the ceiling upstairs was very low – even I had to duck! There were also lots of interesting displays of astronomical equipment such as telescopes, globes and sundials as well as a room dedicated to Eisinga’s occupation as a wool-comber.

Photo 30-07-2015 02 08 31 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 04 37 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 07 24 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 10 51 pm

You couldn’t go outside but I also thought the garden outside looked lovely, complete with more sundials and astronomy-based decorations!

Photo 30-07-2015 02 07 39 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 08 20 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 11 42 pm

The rooms were lovely too – just look at those windows, the ceiling in the photo below and the old grandfather clock!

Photo 30-07-2015 02 12 01 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 13 35 pm

After we had visited the planetarium we had a little wander around the town of Franeker. There was a lovely old church which was hosting an art exhibition so we popped in for a look at that.

Photo 30-07-2015 02 31 15 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 33 39 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 34 05 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 33 27 pm

Photo 30-07-2015 02 33 52 pm

I loved the paintings on the columns, I’m not sure if they were part of the exhibition or always there though.

Photo 30-07-2015 02 34 16 pm

Light coming through a stained-glass window made this lovely dappled effect on the stones.

Photo 30-07-2015 02 34 33 pm

I just had to include this photo of the local bakery – how Dutch can you get?!

Photo 30-07-2015 02 30 21 pm

All in all the town of Franeker and the Eise Eisinga Planetarium are definitely worth a visit if you are in the neighbourhood. If you’d like more information about the planetarium there is a website here. It costs around five euros for adults and four for children, but make sure you wander around the town to enjoy the atmosphere and architecture as well!

Photo 30-07-2015 02 28 57 pm

Are you into astronomy? Where is the coolest planetarium you’ve ever visited? Let me know in the comments and stay tuned for next week’s post about an old lolly-shop museum in Leeuwarden!

visiting eise esinga planetarium

Previous Story
Next Story

You Might Also Like

2 Comments

  • Reply
    Visiting a Little Old Lolly Shop in Leeuwarden - Tassie Devil Abroad
    August 28 at 12:10 PM

    […] 2.Visiting the Eise Eisinga Planetarium […]

  • Reply
    What it's Like to Live in The Netherlands! - Tassie Devil Abroad
    April 14 at 1:32 PM

    […] There are plenty of things to see and do in The Netherlands and not just in Amsterdam. Of course Amsterdam has lots of must-see attractions such as the Vondelpark, Rembrandthuis, Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, the Red-Light District and the Rijksmuseum, but it is definitely worth also getting outside of Amsterdam to see some of the other attractions around the country. There are lots of beautiful castles to see around the country, such as Het Loo Palace and Castle De Haar near Utrecht which hosts the Elf Fantasy Fair every year. If you’re a fan of the Dutch cartoon bunny Miffy (known as Nijntje in Dutch) there is also a museum in Utrecht dedicated to her! In Lelystad you can see a replica of the Dutch East India Company ship the Batavia (the original was famously shipwrecked off the West coast of Australia) and in the province of Friesland you can visit the oldest working planetarium in the world, the Eise Eisinga Planetarium (I wrote a post about visiting it here). […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.