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excerpted from Take Your Kids to Europe
You really can visit windmills and see wooden shoes made in Holland. Take Your Kids to Europe tells you where. (The best windmills are at Kinderdijk, about 8 km east of Rotterdam, and the wooden-shoe-museum-and-factory is De Platijn Museum, in Best.)
But sometimes we like to hunt up really bizarre offbeat places that especially appeal to kids. One such is Eisa Eisinga's Planetarium in Franeker.
Late in the 18th century, a Dutch clergyman predicted that the end of the world would soon arrive, due to a disastrous collision of the planets. His prediction was proved false, but the scare inspired one man to learn as much as he could about the actions of the planets.
Eise Eisinga decided to build a replica of the solar system in his house, complete with orbiting globes dangling from tracks in the ceiling and intricate clockworks hidden in closets and attics. As you study Eisinga's moving astronomical masterpiece, challenge your children to figure out how his view of the planets differs from what's commonly taught in elementary schools today.
A little tiny house our kids loved the very oldness of it. They were amazed that he could do that so long ago. The guide gave his talk in Dutch, English, German and French, and that fascinated the kids.
Nancy Fletcher, Portland OR
The Planetarium (www.planetarium-frieseland.nl) is located in Franeker (at Eise Eisingastraat 3) on Holland's north coast not far from the east end of the dike that spans the IJsselmeer. Its open Tues-Sat year 10am to 5 pm round plus Sunday and Monday 1-5 pm mid-April to September. Adults 2.50 Euros; children 2.00 Euros.
This is just one of the entries on the Netherlands in Take Your Kids to Europe. If you'd like more, click here to get information on ordering the book.