In a beautiful canal house in Franeker, Friesland, is a planetarium located. It is the oldest working planetarium in the world.

The moving model of the solar system was built during the period 1774 to 1781 by the Frisian worker Eise Eisinga. The canal house in which the planetarium is located was once his workplace for his profession as a wool worker. Eise Eisinga had a hobby that he was devoted to; astronomy and mathematics. Eise was so interested in these hobbies that he already wrote his own maths book at the age of 15. At the age of 17 he wrote a book about astronomy.

The moving model of the solar system still shows the real situation of the planets. The planets of the planetarium actually move around the sun at the same time as the real planets: Mercury takes a 88 days orbit around the sun, the earth only 1 year and Saturn almost 30 years. The planetarium moves through a very extensive wheelwork of wooden discs, with tenthousand hand-forged nails as teeth. Nine weights coupled to a pendulum clock form the drive for this special instrument.

Eise Eisinga Planetarium in Franeker owned by the state

King Willem I came specifically to Friesland in 1818 to view this ingenious planetarium. The king was so impressed by this that he immediately bought it for the Dutch state. When Eise Eisinga died in 1828, it was discovered that he had described the operation of the planetarium in his will.

Besides the fact that the Eise Eisinge Planeterium is a planetarium, you can also view an extensive collection of historical astronomical instruments. There is also a lot of attention for modern astronomy. There is also a beautiful cinema where excellent documentaries are constantly shown.

UNESCO World Heritage

In 2022, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee may decide whether the Franeker planetarium will be included on the World Heritage List. The fact that the planetarium has the attention of UNESCO does indicate the degree of speciality of this beautiful museum.

Opening hours of the planetarium in Franeker

The Eise Eisinga Planetarium is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sundays from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. From April 1 to October 31, the planetarium is also open on Mondays from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM. Because the Eise Eisinga planetarium is the oldest in the world, interested people from all over the world come to this special museum.

Combine your visit to the planetarium with a visit to the Martena Museum in Franeker. A visit to the historic university city of Franeker can also be combined with a visit to Leeuwarden. Leeuwarden is the capital of Friesland. Leeuwarden was the European Capital of Culture in 2018. In Leeuwarden is also a lot to see and to do.