Holland has many little treasures all over, waiting to be discovered. Sometimes, such little treasures need to be whispered into your ear, so you’ll know where to look and to discover them.
If you are staying in Amsterdam or surroundings, you can drive over the “Afsluitdijk“, a shortcut over water, bridging the West and the North of Holland. In the North of Holland, in the province of Friesland, you can find many treasures, such as these:
This planetarium, a scaled model of our solar system, is situated in the village of Franeker in Friesland and was built between 1774 and 1781. It has been working ever since. It was built by an enlightened amateur-astronomer by the name of Eise Eisinga, who constructed the mechanical planetarium according to astronomic insights at the time. Saturn was the farthest known planet back then. Besides the very impressive planetarium, there are exhibits of modern astronomy, documentaries, temporary exhibitions and an interactive exposition; “Space”. You can visit the scientist’s historic house and browse through his beautiful manuscripts.
This planetarium is the oldest working planetarium in the world.
If you wish to have a look at some antiquities, Franeker has a very nice antique shop “Allegaartje” (a bit of everything“) which sells antiques online as well. The site is not in English so if you are looking for something in particular or if you have a question, email them.
For a beautiful high tea or a nice meal, visit this beautiful pub-restaurant “De Stadstuin“, which is very near to the planetarium. The site is only in Dutch but if you take our “Dutch food test“, you will recognise many typical Dutch dishes on the menu such as kroket, bitterballen and pannekoek.
Tip: try a cup of “planetarium tea” or an ice-cold “planet-beer“.
And since you are already in Friesland, the North of Holland, you could combine the Franeker Planetarium with a visit to a museum village in Allingawier (Aldfaers Erf)This is an entire village preserved as it was a 100 years ago, today a cultural-historic museum. You walk around and you can enter every house and find out what a bakery looked like back then, what a black smith and a painter company looked like, and a renovation company. You can get guided tours or walk around by yourself. There is a nice playground for children too. The distance between the planetarium and the museum village is easily do-able, even if you are up North only for the day. This entirely antique village takes you back in time, to the slow rhythm of way back when.
We are sure you will enjoy this relaxing day of “time gone by” up in the North of Holland!