Delft is a small city in Holland famous for it’s Delft Blue pottery, canals, artist Johannes Vermeer and the place where William of Orange was assassinated. It’s a good spot for a day trip. Not so many tourists and has a small village feel.
Delft is a mixture of students and old folks. The Delft University and the UNESCO-IHE Institute accounts for the younger crowd.
I was surprised the Delft factory was not in the centre of town, but the show room is. It is quite expensive considering the pottery is still hand crafted and has been since the 17th Century. If you can’t afford the real deal you can snag a bargain at one of the many vintage and antique shops.
There are lots of cafes to choose from – dutch delicacies – eg pancakes, ice-cream, fries, herring, stroopwaffles, apple pie with whipped cream.When you arrive it’s best to head to a cafe first. Then have a few hours to shop, visit churches, museums etc., follow this up by dinner at the older square Beestenmarkt where there are pubs and restaurants surrounding the square.
History of Delft:
In the main square of Delft you will see the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) built in 1383 at one end and the Town Hall at the other. These are surrounded by shops and cafes and very authenic colourful houses. The old church(Oude Kerk) built in 1250 lies behind the main square and lies in front of the Old Delft canal.
Art and Museums:
Vermeer produced over 34 laborious paintings and some of the techniques and paint he used is explained at the centre. There is some controversy that Vermeer used a lens and a camera obscura to help him with his paintings and detailing thus creating a photographic look to his paintings.
Two of his original paintings (Girl with the Pearl Earring and A View of Delft) are on display at the Mauritius Museum in The Hague.
Het Prinsenhof Museum
This is where you will find the history of the Prince of Orange. He was assassinated in this building by Balthasar Gérard who disagreed with his religious views. The bullet holes in the wall are still on display.
Transportation from The Hague:
The tram no 1 leaves from Den Haag Holland Spoor station and takes 25mins. If you use an OV-chipkaart it costs €5 return.
A day pass costs €6.50 or a 3 day pass €16.50. If you cycle it takes about 30 mins. Remember to pack a rain poncho, umbrella or rain suit. It’s a very scenic ride along the canals.