Trip to Delft, The Netherlands, 4th April 2012
I have always associated Delft with blue porcelain plates, blue porcelain Dutch dolls and other glazed ceramic items of the colours blue and white.
So when my tourist guiding guests – my sister and her family who came to spend the Easter holidays in The Netherlands and Scandinavia – suggested at the last minute that I squeeze The Hague in their itinerary, I didn’t expect that my internet research would show how close Delft is to The Hague! It is in fact so close that a day ticket to The Hague – you know, the unlimited rides to the bus, tram and local train in 24 hours – would include the 35-minute ride to Delft, excellent!
From Den Haag (the Dutch name of The Hague), you only need to wait for Tram 1 to take you to Delft.
The biggest thrill is seeing the vintage trams coming, so photogenic!
This 750-year old small picturesque town is one of the best preserved historic towns in The Netherlands.
It exudes the old Dutch charm of narrow canals, bridges, cobblestoned streets and glorious churches.
The 15th-century gothic style Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) on the right houses the Royal Crypt. This is where members of the House of Orange-Nassau have been entombed.
Jezus leeft…..Jesus lives…..
We went to Delft on a Sunday where a church service is being held in the market square.
The building with the red shutters, that’s how they call the renaissance-styled City Hall
The facade of the City Hall displays in gold text the date when the edifice was rebuilt (1620) after the big city fire in 1618.
The statue of Hugo Grotius (1583–1645) infront of the Nieuwe Kerk.
”By understanding many things, I have accomplished nothing.”These are his final words.
Grotius was a theologian, historian, poet, jurist, Dutch political figure, escaped political prisoner, and finally as Sweden’s ambassador to France. In 1598 the French king referred to him as “the Dutch miracle”. Because of his books on international law and practice, Mare Liberum (1609) and De Jure Belli ac Pacis (1625), he is considered as the founder of International Law.
You must have seen this painting before. It’s the most famous work of the most famous son of Delft – Johannes Vermeer (1632-75).
The English text on the right of the picture states the following:
Most favorite Vermeer
The “Girl with the pearl” has grown into the most favorite Vermeer with the public at large. The virtuoso painting technique and subtle way in which the reflection of the light is suggested, creates that the looker-on is the one who causes the girl to look up. The turban has been revived with small reflections of light – Vermeer’s – trademark. The pearl is also very special, which exists of only two paint strokes: top left a clear light stress and at the bottom the soft reflection of the white collar.
The movie, “Girl with a Pearl Earring” has partly been taken in Delft and based on Tracey Chevalier’s novel with the same name. A completely fictitious story in which farmer’s daughter Griet, at the age of sixteen, took up the job of maid in Vermeer’s (played by Colin Firth) household and finally models for the painting, “The girl with the pearl” from 1655.
A (Delft) family that bikes together stays together
The Royal Coat of Arms of the Netherlands is everywhere in Delft. The town is strongly associated with the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau.
You see this old blade-less windmill upon entering the road to Delft.
Fancy buying your one-year supply of Dutch cheese from Delft…
A city of canals, it’s quite dangerous I think to get out of the door without looking out first..
In Delft, you park at your own risk.
Unesco’s Institute of Water Management is based in Delft.