Eisinga Planetarium

Franeker, Netherlands

The Royal Eise Eisinga Planetarium is an 18th-century orrery in Franeker. It is currently a museum and open to the public. The orrery has been on the top 100 Dutch heritage sites list since 1990 and nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site candidate based on its long history as a working planetarium open to the public and its continued efforts to preserve its heritage.

The orrery was built from 1774 to 1781 by Eise Eisinga. An orrery is a planetarium, a working model of the solar system. The 'face' of the model looks down from the ceiling of what used to be his living room, with most of the mechanical works in the space above the ceiling. It is driven by a pendulum clock, which has 9 weights or ponds. The planets move around the model in real time, automatically. The planetarium includes a display for the current time and date. The plank that has the year numbers written on it has to be replaced every 22 years.

The Eise Eisinga Planetarium is the oldest still working planetarium in the world. To create the gears for the model, 10,000 handmade nails were used. In addition to the basic orrery, there are displays of the phase of the moon and other astronomical phenomena. The orrery was constructed to a scale of 1:1,000,000,000,000 (1 millimetre: 1 million kilometres).

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    Founded: 1774-1781
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    4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

    User Reviews

    AccessibleTravel.Online (2 years ago)
    Fantastic museum - accessible toilets, ramps and pathways, elevator. Can't get to all places (house from the 1800s) but they managed to provide great accessibility. Oldest working planetarium in the world. Best museum ever! Guided tour in Dutch and English. It's less than 1,5 hours from Amsterdam. If you go via the Afsluitdijk you will see another Dutch cultural heritage location.
    Danka Zita (2 years ago)
    What a wonderful Museum in Franeker! Awesome! If you would like to see the wonder you must see Eise Eisinga's Planetarium.
    Marek Su (2 years ago)
    Very interesting historic place. The information is presented in a way that is easily accessible for all. Great experience for children and adults.
    MyrCombo (2 years ago)
    It was amazing such an historic experience, that this Planatorium is still working is incredible. Defently must be on your must-see list.
    Augusto Raaijmakers (3 years ago)
    Eise Eisinga realized the oldest still working planetarium in the world. He created this on the ceiling of his living space. Its worth the trip to this Frisian village.
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