This is our brand-new UNESCO site, just added to the list in September 2023. But from the outside, you’d never guess that there was anything special about this house in the lovely town of Franeker in Friesland. Yet it contains something quite wondrous: the oldest still-working model of the solar system in the world! It dates to the 1700s, built by an ordinary wool comber.

It all started in 1774 when, one day, there was an unusual conjunction of several planets and the moon in the sky. A preacher predicted that the force of the alignment might push the earth out of its orbit and into the sun: the End of Days. Eisa Eisinga had been studying astronomy enough to know that this was nonsense, and spent seven years building a model of the solar system in his living room to prove it. It’s still there, and it still works!

You can see the Eisinga Planetarium if you take either the Discover Friesland or the Sail & Bike Wadden Sea, because on both tours you’ll pass through the cute town of Franeker on your bike route.