The north side of Groningen is best known for its city beach, but around Christmastime it becomes the home of what is (probably) the world’s biggest Christmas bauble, in the form of an old planetarium dome covered with thousands of lights.
The DOT was once known as the Infoversum when it was built by the city in collaboration with the local astronomy department. Finished in 2014, it was meant to draw around half a million visitors to its planetarium shows and 3D cinema experiences. However, only about 80,000 people came, which led to the government quickly dropping support for the project. Not long after the Infoversum went bankrupt and got bought up by a catering group a year later, opening under its current name.
These days the cinema still functions, offering live planetarium shows each Tuesday evening, as well as other experiences throughout the week, running at roughly the capacity that was expected from the old Infoversum.
The new owners of the building also brought a new aspect to the building, transforming its exterior into a gigantic Christmas bauble with more than 6,000 LEDs for the holidays. With a diameter of 25 meters, this is the largest bauble in the world. Because of the multi-color capacity of the LEDs, the bauble has a different look each evening.
Know Before You Go
The decorations are up each December until somewhere in January, check the site for exact dates as they vary each year.