Sunday, 30 April 2017

Last day of A to Z challenge, first day of vacation

Today with the Z, just on time on April 30th, I finished the A-Z challenge. Each year it's a real challenge, and each year I say I will start next year sooner. This year is no exception. So I will say it again: Next year I will give myself more time. Smile.

Today also my vacation begins. Well vacation... We will be in Leeuwarden for a few days and then move on to Arnhem for a few days as well. It will be nice to be gone almost a week. It seems a long time ago we went away, and we both need it... Smile again.

I hope you will enjoy the posts I made for the next week, as much as I did making them,
See you soon,


Delft Z - Zangkoren

In Delft there are .. choirs (zangkoren). Just a few:

Ars Vocalis: The Delft Chamber Choir Ars Vocalis sings mostly classical works from renaissance to the present. And then both worldly and religious music.

Cantiamo. Cantiamo Delft is a unique girl choir consisting of 40 girls aged 15 and 35. Enthusiasm and passion for music is characteristic of this particular group of girls. My own daughter sang for many years in this choir.

The Chamber Choir Delft Blue is a choir of enthusiastic, experienced singers with an interest in a wide-ranging a-capella repertoire. From Bach's Johannes Passion to Butans' Lux Aeterna, from Monteverdi and Purcell to Manneken and Poulenc: Delft Blue is happy to meet the challenge. In addition, the choir is socially involved with singing for and with the elderly, on the light evening in Delft and a singing bike ride along social institutions.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Delft Y - Yperstraat

Anyone that takes part in the A-Z challenge can tell you the Y is a difficult letter.

At last I found the Yperstraat in Delft. To be honest I had to look where it might be, never heard of Yperstraat, not that such a thing counts for something, but still...

Anyway, Yperstraat. Location in the middle of the inner city:

The name Yperstrtaat comes from the Belgian Textile workers who lived in Delft at the end of the sixteenth century. It was named after the Belgian town Ieper, or Yper. It certainly isn't one of the most beautiful streets in Delft. There are some big autorepair companies and the parking deck is not doing anything beautiful for this street:


Friday, 28 April 2017

Delft X - Xerxes DHC

In 1967 there was a football (soccer) club form Delft by the name of Xerxes DHC, Xerxes was from north Rotterdam and DHC was a soccer club from Delft. The played on an amateur level for a very, verly long time but in 1966 and 1967 Xerces DHC played in the professional Dutch league. Ok, It lasted two years and then they were broke and broken because of internal quarrels, but we are still very proud of those seasons.

And, no we did not win many games. But we played like lions...

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Delft W - Weather

Delft has a moderate maritime climate that is strongly influenced by the North Sea and the warm Gulf Stream. Due to this influence, summer and winter temperatures are relatively close to each other. In the summer months, the average daytime temperature is around 20 degrees Celsius. In winter, the average daytime temperature is a few degrees above the freezing point. Long periods of frost or night frost do not happen here on a regular basis.

gemiddelde maximum temperatuur (°C) (average max. temp)
gemiddelde mininum termperatuur (average min. temp.)
gemiddeld aantal uren zon per dag (average hours of sun a day)
gemiddeld aantal dagen neerslag per maand (average number of days rain a month)
gemiddeld aantal millimetres neerslag per maand (average number of mm rain a month)

Once a year from 23 until 25 June we have a big festival in Delft that is called "Mooi weer spelen". Acrobatics, plays, modern performance artists are taking part in this big outdoor Festival.
Unfortunately the weather is often so bad, you cannot talk about "nice weather games" Still, when it's nice outside it can be very cosy in Delft.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Delft V - Vinex wijken

Circa 5% of the population of Delft lives in the old inner city. The rest of us lives in the suburbs. "Vinex wijken" as they are called over here .

 The part that is called the "Binnenstad", (inner city) is just a small part of Delft. You see it on the top of this picture third on the right as well as third on the left. side of the city.

There are many paces where people found a place to live. I live in Tanthof Wet a very crowded place were there live so many people whey have to make huge flats to be able to properly house them. Buitenhof, Voorhof, Tanthof are consist mainly of high flatbuildings, the rest of Delft Wippolder, Hof van Delft, Vrijenban are more or less low buildings, but then again also often old buildings.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Delft U - Ultra small theatre

The smallest theatre is Delft is called Microtheater. And it does it's name justice.

It is an a very small alley near the New church and it's so small that if you wouldn't know you would pass it without a second glance.
The Microtheater was built in 1962 as a new accommodation for the Delft theatre company De Flits Due to the construction of the Saint Sebastian bridge, the part of the Ashvest, where the old Microtheater was located, the old building was demolished.

In the Church Street two old little houses were demolished to make way for the Microtheater. Contrary to what the design of the building suggests, the property has never been a warehouse. The large open-air doors on the first floor are designed to easily accommodate large decorative pieces.

In the Microtheater there is a foyer on the ground floor and on the upper floor there is a theatre with seating for 66 visitors. At the back of the building there is a wooden extension to the building in which the workspace of the lighting and sound technicians of the theater is located.

back of the building

Monday, 24 April 2017

Delft T - Tours of inner city

Well, of course there are many ways you can explore delft. You can walk on your own, be amazed by the many canals and beautiful bridges, make wonderful photo's and let you lead to the most interesting tourist attractions.

The second way is to hire a guide for a city walk. There are many walks with or without a guide. A guide is really cheap it's about 5 euro for a walk in the city and they show you places where you would not come if you are just wandering around.
There are also William of Orange walks, Vermeer walks with or without a headphone that tell you all interesting things about what you see,

And last but not least there are these boat canal trips that are - quite right - very popular. You go by boat under all these low bridges and see the houses near the canals from the water,

Sailing ouround one of the old bastions

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Delft S - Student city

With a big Technical University in Delft, Delft is one of the big student Cities in the Netherlands
Green are the Bachelor students, blue the Master students. A lot of this growth can be explained by the increase of foreign students, look at this map:

A lot of people from China and Indiaare studying over here. The housing was a problem for many,  many years the the City of Delft have been building large numbers of Student Housing these last few years, so getting a room in Delft is not a real problem anymore. The majority of the students of the Technical University are, as you probably have guessed, are male.
The University celebrates this year it;s 175 existence

The TU in Delft is leading in space technology, water management, and solar energy.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Delft R - Restaurants

Delft is on one hand a tourist city an on the other a student city. So there are soooo very many restaurants in the inner town. When I was young there were 6 bookstores, 2 second hand bookstores in Delft. Gone. Restaurants. When I was young there was a very large impressive postoffice. Gone. Restaurant.

Post office from 1890 - 2005
All these little shops that make a city a city seem to disappear and all that comes back are small dining rooms, coffee shops. (Yes, we also have two of "those" in Delft). And I think it's really a pity. I think it's wonderful that so many young couples see opportunities to run their own shop, but a little less...
I think it would be better for the city.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Delft Q - Quakelbrug

The Quackelbrug connected the Oostsingel with Delfgauwseweg. With the widening of the Oostsingel the bridge was demolished in 1927. This photo must have been a few years earlier.

These are the bridges of my childhood. We had many bridges like that in Delft. Imagine all that water and there must be a way to get quickly through town...

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Delft P - Prinsenhof

The Prinsenhof is well known because the Father of our Fatherland, William of Orange was assassinated here.  I told you all about that. Before the Prince of Orange lived there, it as a convent, St. Agatha convent. After the prince was murdered there was a latin school in the building and was retored a museum from 1932 until 1951. Now the museum has three themes, the history of William of Orange, of course, Delft Blue and Delft as a city of technique. Many inventors and researchers came from Delft.

There is a painting in the museum (View on Delft) that has always made an impression on me. And I cannot show you the Prinsenhof without showing off my favo painting:

A View of Delft through an Imaginary Loggia, 1663

 It is painted by Daniël Vosmaer. Who was born in 1622 and died in 1666 in Den Briel. Daniel Vosmaer was a very good landscape artist. The loggia in front of us is not real. The city behind it is very real.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Delft O - Oude Jan

Another church in the old inner city of Delft. Close to the New Church is the Old Curch or "de oude Jan" as it is called in Delft. This picture shows well there are only a couple of streets between the two giant churches. It's the oldest church in Delft and was built in 1246.

Oude Jan, not straight as you can see

The church tower is a leaning tower. Because of lack of space the water of the "oude Delft" was rerouted to create some space for the church. Because the church was partly built on solid ground and partly on a filled up formal canal the ground gave way to the weight and the tower was built lop-sided.

In the church are two special old bells, de Trinitasklok, from 1570, often called the Bourdon and the  Laudateklok (bell), from 1719.
The Trinitas bell is the most important of them both. This bell, casted by Hendrick van Trier, weighs nearly 9000 kilo en has a diameter van circa 2,3 meter. De Trinitasklok is the most historic bells of the Nederlands en is only being used on special occasions.  The reason for that is that the sound of the bells causes severe vibrations that could cause damage to the tower.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Delft N - Nieuwe Kerk

The New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) is situated as we learned yesterday at the big marketplace. In the New Church is the Royal crypt where all members of the Royal Family are buried. William of Orange, the Father of the Nation who was shot in the Prinsenhof in 1584 was the first Orange that was buried in the New Church. His tomb is impressive. The mausoleum was made between 1614 and 1622 and restored in 1997. The crypt is only accessible to members of the royal family after one of the stones is lifted and stairs are revealed to the burial grounds below.


Royal crypt - impression

The 16 stained glass windows are a sight to behold. I love stained glass windows. My nephew used to make them. Well not those in the New Church but as a hobby, he was quite good at it.

The tower of the New Church, with it's 108,75 meters (the second highest church tower in the Netherlands) you can climb. There is a round staircase that is much too small for so many people (smile) and you can climb up several levels.

Interior with the organ

At the end of 2013 a thorough restoration of the New Church has started and it's almost finished. The restoration budget is over 11 million euro. The Church itself has still a church function as there are services on each Sunday.


Monday, 17 April 2017

Delft M - Market Square

The Market in Delft with it's 120 by 50 meters is one of the largest historic market square in Europe. The square is almost rectangular and the short sides are by the New Church in the east and the town hall of Delft in the west.

Looking at the New Church and the Maria van Jessechurch in the background

The market is one of the highest located parts of the inner city of Delft.The square is regularly changed appearance over the centuries. The latest rearrangement was completed in 2004. The Statue of Hugo de Groot has been moved several times from the middle of the marketplace amongst parked cars to the side near the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) where it is now.

Looking at City Hall

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Intimacy of the car

For some reason I love the intimacy of a car. Being close together in a cramped space. Comfortable temperature when it's wet or cold outside. And yes, legs out there to touch or just lay your hand on. I love it. I truly do. The car is a nice place for intimate conversation as well. You are looking at the road on half automatic, and not looking at your partner. It's sometimes more easy to tell intimate things to each other without looking your partner in the eye. Sometimes a blindfold will help, but the intimacy of a car is a kind of natural distraction if you know what I mean...

With a pretty girl in a car, what more could a man want?

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Delft L - Lambert van Meerten

 Museum Lambert van Meerten was a Dutch museum housed in the former residence of the art and antiques collector Lambert van Meerten in Delft. The house in Neo-Renaissance style on the Oude Delft 199. Van Meerten built his house named 'Old Holland' in 1897 after a design of his friends Adolf le Comte and Jan Schouten. Many components of the house came from the collection of Lambert.

Huis Lambert van Meerten

Van Meerten wanted to donate the house after his death to the city of Delft on the condition that it became a museum. But three years before his death he went bankrupt. After his bankruptcy Association House Lambert van Meerten was founded by Adolf le Comte and Jan Schouten. The association aimed to realize the museum planned by Van Meerten after all. During the public auction, the foundation bought the house and much of the furniture. In 1907, the Foundation contributed to the house and the contents of the city of Delft.
On October 16, 1909 the museum opened it's doors for the first time to the public. At that time Adolf le Comte was the director. The collection consisted of a historical collection Delftware, Dutch tiles, china and so-called "building fragments".

Museum Lambert van Meerten attracted about 18,500 visitors annually. In 2013, the museum was closed. Just not enough visitors and high costs made it close down after all. 
 The collection went on in museum Prinsenhof.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Delft K - Kolk

In Delft we have a Northern and a Southern Kolk. The origin of the word Kolk is in the space between two sluice gates. In the Nothern Kolk there is not so much to see anymore from the joining of the canals "Oude Delft", "Nieuwe Delft" and "Kantoorgracht" coming all together here.

The southern kolk however has been made famous by Johannes Vermeer who painted his world famous "View on Delft" here. It's now part of the Rijn-Schiekanaal and a harbour for pleasure boats.

View on Delft in 2017

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Delft J - Joris

Some institutions, like Joris in Delft - or the "St. Joris Gasthuis" are determinative for the city and have it's roots in the city. Everyone in Delft knows Joris in one way or the other. For example, my father and I have worked there a couple of years, my aunt worked there for over 20 years and another aunt was admitted to St. Joris because of her depressions. That's right Joris is a mental hospital. 

It used to be a big secluded park with lots of old small one, two story high buildings. Joris is old, very old. It's roots go back to 1394. With the merging of hospitals and "bringing mental care to the districts" one by one of the old houses were closed and now only one building has been left in the park that had so many "pavilions" once. 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Delft I - Ice rink

The winters are in the Netherlands not what they used to be. As our fathers and grandparents remember harsh winters of snow and ice, the winters in the 21st centenary due to global climate warming feel more like autumn than winter. But as the Austrians do in skiing area's covering the hills with fake snow, we in Delft have a small icerink from artificial ice in the inner city. It's only there in december, january so people can skate on it. I have been skating there a few times, but it's really, really, really busy...


Monday, 10 April 2017

Delft H - History

Delft flourished and new neighbourhoods were added. As early as 1355 the city reached the size it would remain until the 19th century.

Click to enlarge. Delft in 1649 made by Blaeu


On the 3rd of May 1536 the great fire broke out. How it started exactly is not known, but it is likely that the wooden spire of the Nieuwe Kerk was hit by lightning and flying sparks set the surrounding houses on fire. Some 2,300 houses went up in flames. More than a hundred years later, in 1654, an explosion destroyed part of the city. The cellar of the former Poor Clares convent on Paardenmarkt was used to store gunpowder. This central warehouse for the region Holland contained some 80,000 pounds of gunpowder. The consequences of the explosion were enormous - two hundred houses were razed to the ground, and roofs fell in and windows were smashed in another three hundred houses. In 1660 a new gunpowder house was built about a mile outside the centre.

The Murder of William the Silent the Father of the Fatherlands

William of Orange, aka William the Silent had been leading the Netherlands agains the Spanish oppression. In 1582 there had been an attempt to murder him and it almost had killed him, he took a bullet in the cheek. In 1584 a Frenchman was coming to his court in Delft, by the name of Balthasar Gérards.
As William the Silent climbed the stairs to the second floor, he was spoken to by the Welsh captain, Roger Williams, who knelt before him. William put his hand on the bowed head of the old captain, at which moment Gérard jumped out of a dark corner. He drew his weapons and fired two shots at the stadtholder. William the Silent collapsed. His sister knelt beside him, but it was too late. Asked whether he commended his soul to Christ, he answered in the affirmative. His last words were, Mon Dieu, ayez pitié de moi et de mon pauvre peuple (My God, have mercy on me and on my poor people).
Gérard fled through a side door and ran across a narrow lane, pursued by Roger Williams. Gérard had almost reached the ramparts, from which he intended to jump into the moat. On the other side a saddled horse stood ready. A pig's bladder around his waist was intended to help keep him afloat. However, he stumbled over a heap of rubbish. A servant and a halberdier of the prince who had raced after him caught him. When called a traitor by his captors, he is said to have replied, "I am no traitor; I am a loyal servant of my lord." "Which lord?", they asked. "Of my lord and master, the king of Spain".

Trial, torture, and execution

At the house he immediately underwent a preliminary examination before the city magistrates. Upon being interrogated by the magistrates, he reportedly showed neither despair nor contrition, but rather a quiet exultation, stating: "Like David, he had slain Goliath of Gath."
At his trial, Gérard was sentenced to be brutally – even by the standards of that time – killed. The magistrates decreed that the right hand of Gérard should be burned off with a red-hot iron, that his flesh should be torn from his bones with pincers in six different places, that he should be quartered and disemboweled alive, his heart torn from his bosom and flung in his face, and that, finally, his head should be taken off. On 14 July 1584, Gérard was executed.

Dutch East India Company

More than 400 years ago the Dutch East India Company was founded. It was one of the largest trading companies in the world with a fleet of more than one hundred ships, thousands of employees, offices in Asia and six sites in the Netherlands, of which one in Delft. In 1602, Delft was a flourishing city, a centre of painting, arts, crafts and science. The foundation of the Dutch East India Company and the establishment of a branch in Delft added another important aspect - the trade with faraway countries. Spices, coffee, tea and Chinese porcelain now found their way to the Republic of the Netherlands and to Delft.

Knowledge and Culture

In 1842 the Netherlands lagged behind its neighbouring countries from an industrial point of view. The country required technically trained people, and therefore the Royal Academy for Civil Engineers was founded. The Academy used the building vacated by the artillery school. The Academy of then is the Technical University of today, which is also the largest employer in Delft. Some thirteen thousand students are registered with the TU in Delft. Delft is not just a city of culture, but also a city of knowledge. Not just because of the Technical University and TNO, but also because of the many knowledge-based institutes and companies - DSM Gist, the Dutch Normalisation Institute, the Dutch Measuring Institute, Exact Software, Delft Instruments etc. The Netherlands is world famous for its hydraulic engineering works. Students from all over the world come to the TU and the Unesco IHE to gain more knowledge. Large projects are simulated to scale in the WL/Hydraulics.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

St Matthew Passion in movie theatre

Reinbert de Leeuw conducted in 2016 Bach's St. Matthew Passion, a work he had done until then rarely. a documentary was made about the creative process and the same team made a record of a complete execution. Which is now in theaters.

In his long career as a conductor heard Reinbert (1938), the St. Matthew Passion often, but he conducted the work rarely. When he took up the score of the St. Matthew in 2015, which was only the second time that he would conduct Bach's work.At the invitation of Holland Baroque de Leeuw studied the score again and discovered things about the meaning of the music, the way Bach divided the references in the text. The text plays a major role in de Leeuw's music and in the way he later would rehearse with soloists, he devoted much attention. Dutch Chamber Choir was commissioned phrases like 'Sind Blitze, sind Donner "literally spit out. 

Documentarymaker Cherry Duyns explained the creative process firmly in the film The Mission of St. Matthew Reinbert de Leeuw, who went to the Dutch Film Festival premiere last year and later was shown in cinemas. Part of the production was a recording of a complete performance of the work in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. De Leeuw, as he explained in the documentary, wanted it performed  there and not at the Concertgebouw, what a would have been more obvious .

The way Holland Baroque with concertmaster Judith Steenbrink, Dutch Chamber Choir and soloists perform Bach's job is to follow the cinema very close with the camera work of renowned cameramen as Erik van Empel and Paul van den Bos. The soloists are Joanne Lunn (soprano), Delphine Galou (alto), Christopher Watson (tenor), Tomáš Král (bass), Andreas Wolf (BC) and Benedikt Kristjánsson (evangelist). At the first part also contributes to Roder Boys Choir.

Besides the wide range of performances of the Passions of Bach, a filmed version of Reinbert be a nice addition. I will see the "Matthew Mission" later next week, but today I am going to see the "Matthew Passion" at the nearest movie theatre near my house. Oh, yes and because I have this gold card the entrance will be free as well. Smile. How great is that?

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Delft G - Grachten

Grachten (Canals in Dutch) 1 Gracht, 2 Grachten (1 Canal, 2 Canals) you may associate to Amsterdam. And if you are European, maybe to Utrecht as well. But in the inner city of Delft, like many of the old towns in the Netherlands, there are quite a few canals.

De Delftse grachten

Number of canals in Delft

Damped canals




When and why the Delft canals were dug?

The canals were dug around the eleventh century the extraction of Delft and surroundings. The location of the canals can not be explained.

There are actually two canals: the "Oude Delft" and  "Verwersdijk". The other canals are branches and extensions of these two canals. The canals are all interconnected. There are also damped canals like the Spoorsingel. Around 1960, this piece of ancient canal was damped and to make place for a railway.

Oude Delft

"Oude Delft"(Old Delft) is the oldest canal in Delft. It runs north-south and cuts through the western part of the city.

The historic Delf (an archaic word for 'canal') was probably dug around 1100. At that time the city of Delft did not exist. The canal made it possibele that the land around it could drain it's water. The canal was a widening of a portion of the system of the creek "Gantel". When a second canal was dug at the end of the twelfth century parallel to the Delf, the names came Oude Delft and New Delft.

Both the north and the south side, the two canals, were linked by a vortex. The northern Kolk still bears that name. The landlocked country was digging the New Delft raised with clay and formed the basis of the city of Delft.

In the Golden Age was the higher land in the swampy town a popular residence for wealthy merchants. At the Oude Delft are also many mansions that often have the status of national monument now.

The Delft student life takes place in part to the Oude Delft: Societies of d.s.v. St John's Bridge, KSV Sanctus Virgilius, Delft Students Federation (DSB) and C.S.R. Delft are all located on the canal.

Nieuwe Delft

New Delft is a canal that runs parallel to the Oude Delft and is better known by the street along the canal: consecutively (from north to south) Voorstraat, Hippolytusbuurt, Koornmarkt and the Korte en Lange Geer (Short and Long Geer). The canal was dug at the end of the twelfth century. In the north are the Old and New Delft interconnected by the northern Kolk. South of the Amrmamentarium, at the southern Kolk, are the Old and New Delft well together.



Friday, 7 April 2017

Delft F - Facts and Figures

Characteristics of Delft

  • located in the center of South Holland between
    The Hague (9 km) and Rotterdam (14 km), 
  • along the A13 Motorway and A4 Motorway and Rotterdam The Hague Airport (10 km)
  • monumental, historic Town Center
  • fully equipped middle sized town
  • many knowledge-based companies 


 Surface area Delft: 24,06 m2
Population by sex:
54044 men
47000 women
0 transgenders (no registration)

Age distribution









History by numbers

1246   The 'Nieuwe Delft' is granted city rights
1250   Start building of the Old Church
1268   The 'Oude Delft' is granted city rights
1383   Start building of the New Church
1400   Building East Gate, foundation Delfshaven
1536   Great city fire
1572   Delft joins the revolt and will soon rank among the six great cities
1584   Willem van Oranje murdered in the Prinsenhof by Balthasar Gerards
1629   Piet Hein, conqueror of the Spanish Armada is buried in a mausoleum in the Old Church
1632   Johannes Vermeer baptized in New Church; The Delft School of painting, with Pieter de
           Hoogh, Jan Steen a.o. becomes world-famous
1645   Hugo de Groot, lawyer, dies
1654   Explosion Kruithuis (Gunpowder House)
1723   Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, 'the father of microscopy', dies
1842   Foundation of the Polytechnical School, the present Technical University Delft (TUD)
1847   Delft connected to Dutch Iron Railway
1869   Foundation Dutch Yeast and Spirits Works
1921   Large area expansion, annexation Vrijenban, Hof van Delft, part of Schipluiden
1948   Prinsenhof becomes Municipal Museum
1960   Area expansion necessary for the building of housing estates Voorhof and Buitenhof
1992   150th. anniversary TUD
1996   Delft 750 years city rights


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Delft E - Erfgoed

Present Archive Building

Erfgoed (Heritage) in Delft. If you are interested in genealogy, Delft was one of the first cities in the Netherlands that digitalized her archives. It was an example to many cities in the Netherlands. The City Archive are moving soon from their cosy little place at the Oude Delft to some new ugly all glass, but modern, spacious, climate controlled premises in Delft.

New Archive Building

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Delft D - Delft Blue

Delft Blue is the world-famous earthenware that has been produced in the city of Delft since the 17th century. Between 1600 and 1800, this earthenware was popular among rich families who would show off their Delft Blue collections to one another. Although the Delftware potters preferred to call their earthenware “porcelain”, it was only a cheaper version of the real Chinese porcelain. Delft Blue was not made from the typical porcelain clay, but from clay that was coated with a tin glaze after it was fired. In spite of this, Delft Blue achieved unrivalled popularity, and at its peak, there were 33 factories in Delft. Of all of these factories, the only one remaining today is Royal Delft.

Photo: Royal Delft
The Royal Dutch Delftware Manufactory "De Porceleyne Fles”, established in 1653, is the last remaining Delftware factory from the 17th century, still producing entirely handmade Delftware. This Delft invention, whereby blue is applied in a myriad of nuances, dates back to the 17th century. The Delft Blue patterns are inspired by Chinese porcelain. Besides the Original Delft Blue Royal Delft produces hand painted multi coloured delftware, modern earthenware and even extraordinary tile paintings.

The factory annex museum is not so easy to find as it's a bit off city centre, and it looks from the outside not very inviting. Still, the museum has a wonderful collection of Delft Blue. (And if you are there at tea time, don't miss out on a fabulous high tea.   People from all over the world comes to visit the Royal Delft collection.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Delft C - Coat of Arms

Like any city should have Delft has got a weapon. In 1816, as a result of the Napoleon era, the coat of arms of Delft was registered as:

"Of silver loaded with a picket of saber. The weapon is covered with a crown with 5 florets, all made of gold, and is held by the second climbing lions of throat."

Note: Wavy lines are often applied on the pole, in plans, the crown has three leaves and 2x3 pearls and the lions are looking at you.

The coat of arms is older than the one shown above. To illustrate that have a look at the glass stained window in the city of Edam:

I was there recently in Edam, and saw this window. The bar in the middle symbolizes the "Oude Delft". The "Oude Delft" (Old Delft) is the oldest canal in Delft  and is probably dug around 1100. 

Monday, 3 April 2017

Delft B - Beer

Somewhere between 1500 and 1650 Delft was one of the most famous beer towns in the Netherlands. There were more than 200 beer breweries in Delft and in a year they made some 50 million litres of beer a year. Delft was famous for the good quality of it's beers because of the clean canal waters in the city. The export to the Southern Netherlands was booming because of the location of Delft. The war against the Spaniards was a big blow for the Delft Brewers. And then the lakenindustry (laken = literately sheets, but not like our bedsheets now.  "Laken" is wool washed and combed into sheets. Laken was used for clothing) was more and more popular around 1600. It seemed to be the modern way to earn your money.

The strong point of the Delft beer, however was it's clean water. With the rise of the lakenindustry with source became more and more polluted. The numbers of beer brewers decreased rapidly after 1650 until the last brewer in Delft stopped in the last century.

There is still beer with the name of Delft on it, but it is brewed on some brewery in Hillegom. There is a small group in Delft keeping the memory of the Delft Beer Tradition alive.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Delft A - Achterom

I was born in 1959 in a street called "Achterom". Achterom means "Back entrance". It is possible that the name "Achterom" was written towards the end of the 17th Century. An explanation would be that the shape of the canal. It has the form that the canal is behind something. It's the only canal in Delft that has two turns in it.

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