An impressive array of unique homemade planetariums.
Henk Olthof is a general contractor, carpenter, and bricklayer. Since 1972, he has used his skills to create various machines based on the heavens. Over the years, Olthof’s estate has transformed into an impressive and unique planetarium. He made everything displayed there; something he refers to as a “hobby gone wild.”
There, you’ll find a nearly 16.5-foot (five-meter) stellarium, featuring a half globe that has a drawing of the northern hemisphere on it and the stars as seen from Toldijk. The entire sphere can rotate once in two minutes.
A second building contains a similar contraption that shows the southern hemisphere, displaying the stars as if seen from the South Pole. This dome also features a projector, which makes the machine look more modern.
Additionally, there is a replica of the Eisinga Planetarium that had been expanded to encompass the modern solar system, going up all the way until the since-demoted Pluto. It’s an impressive creation, as Olthof made his own gear trains for Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
The attraction also has a Newton mirror telescope for actual sky observations.
Know Before You Go
There is at least one public night each month to visit the planetarium, but you need to reach out ahead of time to make sure that there is space, as the maximum group size is five people. A ticket costs 4.50 euros per person and 3.50 for children.
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