The Furnace of Delft

Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
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Trip End Aug 21, 2011


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Flag of Netherlands  , Zuid-Holland,
Thursday, December 23, 2010

The next stop on my Dutch world tour was the quiet town of Delft. Delft is known for it's very typically Dutch scenery, and, of course, Delft pottery.  Delftware pottery is typically blue and white, most of which has an intricate painting on it.  There were formerly many factories producing the pottery in Delft in the 16th century.  Today, there is one factory remaining true to the traditional methods of creating the pottery.  All the souvenir stores are loaded with mimic (and affordable) Deflt pottery which I was happy to settle on.

We visited the Maria van Jessekerk first.  The snow in Delft was mushy and deep, and our shoes were soaked through with freezing water.  We mainly visited the church to warm up some and abuse the furnace they had stationed near the restrooms.  We camped out there for at least ten minutes, took our shoes off and tried to dry our wet socks and shoes.  This church is comparatively new to others I have seen, being built in the late 1800s.  It was complete with classic decorated walls and beautiful stained glass as well.

We walked around the town and enjoyed its sights for a little while before making our way to the Christmas Market we were hoping to partake in.  By the time we had arrived, most of the vendors were already packing up.  We also wanted to go inside the Niewe Kerk (New Church) and up to the tower inside for a view of the city; however, the tower was closed due to the recent weather so we didn’t get to that either!  Either way, even though the New Church is called "new" it was built in the 15th century.  There is a crypt below (not accessible to tourists) where much of the royal family is buried.

We also walked passed the Oude Kerk and Prisenhof.  Prisenhof is a Dutch palace that was originally built as a monastery in the middle ages.  This is also the location of where William of Orange (head of the revolt against the Spanish in the 16th century) was shot to death.  There are still holes in the wall at the Prisenhof from the bullets that killed him.

We walked a bit ways further to the Oospoort (Eastgate) of the city.  Built in the 1400’s, it served as one of the original gates to enter the walled city of Delft.  Today, someone actually lives inside it, and it also is an art gallery.

Delft is a charming little town just halfway between the major cities of Den Haag and Rotterdam.  As it promised, it’s a classically Dutch town with perfect canals and a lot of bicycles.  As with all of the places I’ve visited in the Netherlands, I will have to come back in the summer and see it when it isn’t completely buried in snow.
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