Planetarium’s visitors double after securing UNESCO World Heritage status
The Eise Eisinga Planetarium in Franeker, Friesland, has become busier since it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status on Tuesday, said Adrie Warmenhoven, the planetarium’s director. He said two days after the announcement that the total number of visitors has doubled.
“We normally receive around 150 visitors on a weekday in September. Now it is three hundred, which is quite a lot,” said Warmenhoven. He is pleased that the planetarium is gaining more brand recognition after obtaining the World Heritage status.
The director said he expects the crowds to increase further next weekend. He advised people to buy a ticket in advance, “so that you can be sure that you can enter.” Since the coronavirus pandemic, the planetarium has been working with time slot reservations and a maximum number of visitors per day.
“Built between 1774 and 1781, this property is a moving mechanical scale model of the solar system as it was known at the time. Conceived and built by an ordinary citizen – the wool manufacturer Eise Eisinga – the model is built into the ceiling and south wall of the former living room/bedroom of its creator,” UNESCO noted.
The pendulum clock powers the model, which gives close approximations of the positions of the Sun, Earth, the Moon, and Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The distance between the planets is at scale, and the planet orbits are depicted in real time.
The planetarium is the thirteenth place in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to wind up on the UNESCO list. That list also includes the Wadden Sea, the canal ring in Amsterdam, the windmills of Kinderdijk and the Willemstad city center on Curaçao.
Reporting by ANP and NL Times