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.




  1. Enjoyed reading the history. Thanks.

    1. Glad you enjoy it Leigh, thank you for stopping by and say hi.


  2. Thanks so much for the history lesson, Han. I think it would be fun to live on one of the canals.

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

    1. Yes, it's very nice these old buildings, every stone has a story... And the houses on the canals are soooooo expensive, unaffordable (for my salary at least),


  3. Wow..
    So many canals..
    Well... there were and are many clever people in Holland.
    This us a art.

    Mona Lisa

    1. With so much water you have to be either clever or drown.. So it was a very much needed solution to a problem at the time. And now, it's just pretty and romantic.



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