About 125 km north of Amsterdam you’ll find Franeker. A small historical city in the province of Friesland. This city has a very nice little science museum: The Planetarium from Eise Eisinga. The Planetarium is the oldest working planetarium in the world and it still runs on time. This reason alone, if for no other, makes it worth visiting this northern town. A planetarium is a solar system according to scale. In the planetarium room the English, French, and German-speaking guides tell you everything about the life of Eise Eisinga. The guide explains the way the planetarium operates and there is plenty of time to ask questions.
The museum is located in the former home of Eise Eisinga who lived in the 17th century. The museum also gives an impression of family life in the old days with a bedstead, kitchen, and workshop creating an authentic ambiance that brings it all back to life! You’ll be amazed by the size of the bed. Dutch people were not as tall as they are nowadays and they slept sitting upright with a nightcap on their heads.
Astronomy and mathematics
Eise Eisinga dedicated his life to astronomy and math. He builds the planetarium in his living room. On the first floor, located above the Planetarium, you can view a set of wheels that drive the planetarium. Take care not to bump your head as you make your way up the stairs because the ceiling is very low.
This museum exhibits many historical astronomical instruments. The founder, Eise Eisinga had a wool factory next to his home. The tools Eisinga used for wool combing are also shown in this museum.
The Eise Eisinga Planetarium in Franeker, Friesland, has been nominated for the Unesco World Heritage List. The Minister of Education, Culture, and Science submitted the nomination.
An entry on the World Heritage List is worldwide recognition of the special value of this planetarium”. In addition, it also has a positive influence on the fame of the historic city center of Franeker and the Friesland region. It is a nice addition to the other world heritage sites in Friesland. The Wadden Sea and the Ir. D.F. Woudagemaal in Lemmer, the first steam pumping station in the world, is already on the famous list of cultural and natural heritage.
Friesland is about an hour’s travel time from the Dutch airport Schiphol
Franeker is an important historical city in the north of Holland, in the province of Friesland. A university was located there in the past. The Frisian people speak Frisian, Dutch and most of them speak various foreign languages.
Franeker is the 10th largest city of the Frisian “11-City Skating Tour”. A world-famous skating race on natural ice. Thousands of people skate from city to city when the weather is just right. A tour of almost 200 kilometers. Holland goes berserk when this event is coming up, they wait in keen anticipation to see whether or not the weather will be cold enough to allow the race to be run, they love it because it is comparable to a World Cup Event and is a long and old tradition!
Fries Suikerbrood – Fryske sûkerbôle – Frysian Sugar Bread
When you visit Frisian don’t forget to buy a delicious “Fries Suikerbrood” (Frysian Sugar Bread at the local bakery. This bread is made from fine patent wheat flour, butter, sugar, water, salt, and yeast and filled with pearl or grain sugar, cinnamon and ginger syrup. This bread used to be given to mothers who had given birth to a girl. When they had a boy, currant cake was given.
Fresh pickled Herring
And if you happen to be visiting Franeker on a Saturday go to the market and eat a fresh pickled herring with onions. If you find yourself a nice place like a cafe you can eat this delicacy accompanied by a traditional Dutch Beerenburg or fûgeltsje. Enjoying a herring with a Beerenburg will make your day perfect.
Contact information and ticket information
Address; Eise Eisingastraat 3, Franeker, Friesland in the Netherland.
Visiting hours: the whole year on Tuesday till Saturday from 10.00 till 17.00 and on Sunday from 13.00 till 17.00 hours.
This museum is closed on Christmas Day and on New Year’s Day.