In collaboration with the
International Astronomical Union

Category of Astronomical Heritage: tangible immovable
Eise Eisinga Planetarium, Netherlands

Format: UNESCO National tentative list

Link to description from another (external) source 
  • InfoTheme: Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century
    Entity: 155
    Subentity: 1
    Version: 12
    Status: PUB
    Date: 2023-09-21 16:49:53
    Author(s): Clive Ruggles


State of affairs of the World Heritage nomination dossier:

Inscription on the World Heritage List was adopted on September 19, 2023

Inscribed under the name Eisinga Planetarium in Franeker 

UNESCO received the ICOMOS evaluation of the Netherlands nomination on July 19, 2023.

The evaluation contains the following summaries:

Evaluation of the proposed justification for inscription
In summary, ICOMOS considers that the nominated property merits consideration for inscription on the World Heritage List, under criterion (iv). While criteria (i) and (iii) are considered not to be justified on their own, certain aspects presented for those criteria help reinforce the justification of criterion (iv). With the revisions made to the boundary of the nominated property, integrity, as defined by the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention, is demonstrated.
Conditions of authenticity are also met.

Effectiveness of the protection and management of the nominated property
ICOMOS considers that the legislative and regulatory measures for the protection of the nominated property are adequate. The complementary measures that apply to the buffer zone give an added layer of protection to the nominated property, as required in the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
The sustainability of the financial resources available from the different actors, as well as from the income generated from visitation, guarantees that the management authorities can adequately plan and implement necessary actions. Visitor flows are controlled, and interpretation and presentation are of a high standard.
In summary, ICOMOS considers that the existing protection and management mechanisms are effective to address current and identified future management challenges.

The State Party took into account ICOMOS’ concerns and suggested changing the name of the nominated property simply to “Eisinga Planetarium”; convincing arguments were presented to support this name. Nevertheless, ICOMOS considers that the location of the planetarium is important and notes that, under the new maps sent as part of the additional information, the nominated property is named as “Eisinga Planetarium in Franeker”. ICOMOS considers that this name should be retained.

In conclusion, ICOMOS considers that the property has demonstrated Outstanding Universal Value.


The director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Mr Lazare Eloundou, received the nomination dossier on January 18, 2022.

The Minister of Education, Culture and Science summarizes as follows in her presentation letter:
“Constructed in the 18th century to enlighten people about astronomy, Eise Eisinga’s planetarium continues to fulfil that same purpose today. In its modernday incarnation, it also tells the story of the scientific knowledge that led to the mechanism’s design and implementation.
The Eise Eisinga Planetarium unites cultural heritage, science and education in one magnificent object.”

The Royal Eise Eisinga Planetarium is submitted on

  • The Netherlands’ National Tentative List.   (link expired september 19, 2023, the date of inscription on the World Heritage List)

As stated there, it is the oldest working planetarium in the world and is still in its original state. Its moving model of the solar system was constructed between 1774 and 1781 by Eise Eisinga, a Frisian wool-comber, in his own home.


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