Delft is a city and municipality in the province of Zuid Holland (South Holland) close toRotterdam and Den Haag (The Hague). Around 100,000 people live in Delft. The cityreceived its city rights in the 13th century.The city is situated on the Schie, which flows into the Meuse at Delfshaven. The townwas almost totally destroyed by fire in 1536, and in 1654 it was seriously damaged bythe explosion of a powder-magazine; but it still possesses numerous interestingbuildings of the 16th century, especially at the Wynhaven and in the Koornmarkt andVoorstraat.Delft is primarily known for its typically Dutch town centre (with canals), also for thepainter Vermeer, Delft Blue pottery (Delftware), the Delft University of Technology, andits association with the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau.The hotel De Mol of the 15th century is one of the oldest buildings in Delft.Stadhuis (City Hall)This early 17th century building (1618) was built by Hendrick de Keyser (who made themausoleum of William the Silent). Very typical for the buildings of the early DutchRepublic, the decoration features ferocious lions heads. The City Hall incorporates thestone tower of an earlier medieval version of the city hall destroyed by fire in 1618.
Nieuwe Kerk (New Church)Originally built between 1383 and 1510. However, several disasters that took place inthe city of Delft (town fire in 1536 and the explosion of the gunpowder store in 1645 )made restoration necessary. The present tower was only added in 1872 by P.J.H. Cuyper.The most important feature of the church is the imposing mausoleum of William ofOrange (called The Silent). Hendrick de Keyser designed it in 1614. In the middle of themonument stands the statue of William. In the crypt of the church are the tombs ofseveral other members of the Dutch Royal Family, the House of Orange-Nassau.Oude Kerk (Old Church)The church dates originally from the 13th century, but was often redesigned andredecorated. The richly decorated bell tower dates from the 14th century. The GothicNorthern transept was added in the 16th century by Antoon Keldermans, a famousarchitect from the southern Netherlands (now Belgium). The choir stalls are remarkable.Inside the church are numerous tomb stones, among which, the stones of the painterJohannes Vermeer and Admiral Piet Heyn.Meisjeshuis building, the old orphanage for girls, reopened in spring 2005 afterrestoration. It is now being used for a variety of purposes, many of which ensure that alarge part of the building remains open to the general public.
The Easten Gates were built in the beginning of the 15th century and nowadays theyare the only city gates that left till our time. Their towers are not so old: they wereoverbuilt in the 16th century. The Eastern Gates consist of the gates built both onwater and ground, which are connected with walls. Nowadays the gates are used asdomicile and showroom.Delft University of Technology (Dutch: Technische Universiteit Delft, also known as TUDelft, is the largest and oldest Dutch public technical university. With eight facultiesand numerous research institutes it hosts over 16,000 students (undergraduate andpostgraduate), more than 2,600 scientists(including more than 200 professors), over2,000 doctoral students, and more than 2,000 people in the support and managementstaff.The university was established on January 8, 1842 by King William II of theNetherlands as a Royal Academy, with the main purpose of training civil servants forthe Dutch East Indies.
Prinsenhof (Princes Court)The Prinsenhof ("The Court of the Prince") is an urban palace built in the 15th century as amonastery. Later it served as a residence for William of Orange, the Silent. It was here thatWilliam of Orange (the Silent) was murdered in 1584 by Baltasar Geraerts, a fanaticalcatholic. The murder was ordered by Philip II, the catholic king of Spain and theNetherlands. The holes that were left in the walls by the bullets that killed William are stillvisible. After the restoration the Prisenhof serves as the National Museum. The museumcontains an interesting collection of paintings of Delft, medieval sculptures, portraits ofprominent figures of the Dutch Revolt and, of course, delftware.The Water Tower. The tower was built in 1895 in neo-renaissance style, after a design ofthe city council architect M.A.C. Hartman. It contains a water reservoir of 600.000 litrewater. Since the 1st of February 2008 the Water tower of Delft is open to the public. Thebeautiful monument is restyled into a water shop, meeting place and viewpoint.
Armamentarium (Army museum).The massive brick building rising up from the water at the "Korte Geer" street is theArmamentarium. It used to be the military arsenal of the provinces of Holland andWest Friesland. The function of the building is symbolically shown by the beardedstatue of the god Mars, the god of war. The arsenal was built in 1692. All the militaryobjects on display (guns, uniforms, weapons) tell the history of the Dutch army, fromthe Middle-Ages until now.Oost-Indisch Huis (East India House)The letters VOC on this renovated house (1631) at the Oude Delft n 39 is a reminderthat Delft once was a seat of the Dutch East India Company.The Mill de Roos was built in the 18th century and at those times it was situated onthe city rampart.Images and text: InternetMusic: ABBA – The Winner Takes It All Adriana