A city trip to the South Holland city of Delft

There are countless nice cities in the Netherlands that are worth a visit. Not only the largest and best-known cities in the Netherlands are suitable for this. A slightly smaller city such as Delft is also definitely worth a visit and suitable for a city trip. The city has over a hundred thousand inhabitants and is located between The Hague and Rotterdam. Due to its location between these major cities in the Randstad, Delft is very easy to reach. Due to the rich history of the city, there are many interesting sights to be found.

History of Delft

In the Middle Ages, there was a farm belonging to a noble lord on the site of present-day Delft. This gentleman exploited the surrounding agricultural lands. This made the place important for trade and Delft could grow into a market center. In the 13th century the city received city rights and grew into one of the most important cities in Holland. This remained the case until the 17th century. In the course of the 17th century, The Hague and Rotterdam overtook the city of Delft. After all, The Hague had a lot of administrative power and Rotterdam grew due to the importance of the port.
In 1847, Delft was connected to the Dutch railway network, making it a more attractive place for companies. The Industrial Revolution had resulted in a large part of the population working in factories. In Delft, for example, a yeast and spirit factory was built. In the same years, the Royal Academy was also founded , making technology and science more important parts in the city. After the Second World War, Delft expanded with new neighborhoods such as Poptahof and Voorhof.

Sights and monuments

Oude Kerk
The Oude Kerk is, how could it be otherwise, the oldest church in Delft and dates from the 13th century. What is striking about this church is that the tower is crooked, giving rise to the nickname Scheve Jan. During the construction of the church, water was probably diverted to create space. As a result, the tower stood half on a sand ridge and half on the filled-in canal. While the church was being built, the ground collapsed and the tower became crooked. They then continued to build straight on the crooked base, which created a kink.

new church

The Nieuwe Kerk is located on the market square opposite the Delft town hall. The church is the highest church tower in the Netherlands after the Dom in Utrecht. The Nieuwe Kerk is even better known for the mausoleum of William of Orange and the crypt where many deceased members of the Royal family lie. The most recent interment was that of Prince Bernhard in 2004. Nowadays the church can be visited. The crypt is considered the property of the Royal family and is therefore not accessible to the public. The mayor of Delft has the key to the basement and may only use it if two employees of the AIVD and two employees of the military police are present.
Delft Town Hall
The Delft Town Hall is located on the market square. In the Middle Ages, a stone prison tower stood at this location. This tower was later expanded and served as a town hall. Because the town hall consisted of all kinds of separate extensions, it was not really one whole. At the beginning of the 17th century, much of the city was destroyed by fire. Based on the medieval town hall, a new design was made in Renaissance style. The building was modernized in the 19th century, but the characteristic Renaissance style was completely lost. Fortunately, this changed again in the 20th century. Both the interior and exterior were then returned to their original state.

East Gate

The city of Delft used to have eight city gates that were part of the fortifications. Nowadays, little of this remains, but one city gate has stood the test of time, the Oostpoort. The Oostpoort is a combined land and water gate that are connected to the remains of the city wall. Nowadays it is used as a residence and exhibition space.

Prinsenhof

The Prinsenhof was initially a monastery, but in the 16th century William of Orange started using the building as his residence. William of Orange was a proponent of religious tolerance, unlike his king Philip II. The king was a fanatical Catholic and detested the Protestants. Philip II declared the Dutch nobleman, William of Orange, an outlaw in 1580. In 1584, Balthasar Gerards managed to actually assassinate William of Orange. The murder took place near the stairs in the Prinsenhof. Nowadays there is a museum here about William of Orange and the Eighty Years’ War in the Netherlands. The bullet holes from the murder can still be seen near the stairs, although they are probably not original.

Koornbeurs

The Koornbeurs can be found at the Voldersgracht, near the market. This stately building was originally built as a meat hall. In the 19th century, meat was no longer bought in the meat trade, but from the butcher. As a result, the building was given a new purpose, it became a choir fair. The building owes its name to this function. The Germans used this building during the Second World War. The youth association ‘OJV de Koornbeurs’ then moved into the building.

Sights Delft

Legend
A . Delft B station
. Old Church
C . New Church
D . Delft Town Hall
E . Oostpoort
F . Prinsenhof
G . Koornbeurs

Accessibility

Car

Delft is located between the A4 and A13 and is therefore easily accessible by car. In the city center you can only park your car for a fee. For example, there are a number of parking garages underneath the center, so you immediately end up in the historic city center once you have parked the car.
Train
Delft station is close to the historic center. It is about six hundred meters on foot. The Delft station is located in a tunnel and opened in 2015. The trains that stop at Delft station run towards The Hague and Rotterdam. At these stations you can transfer to all kinds of different destinations, but some of the trains that stop in Delft already continue to cities such as Amsterdam, Breda or Vlissingen.

Tram and bus

There are several city bus lines in Delft that transport travelers from the edges of the city to the center and the station. In addition, a number of regional bus lines stop in Delft to neighboring towns such as Naaldwijk. There will also be a tram in Delft. This tram runs from Delft to The Hague and Scheveningen.