During our expatriation in Rotterdam, we took advantage of our weekends to visit other cities in the Netherlands.
Discovery of Delft
Delft is a charming town, 30 minutes away from Rotterdam. It is known all over the world for its blue and white earthenware. On site, we walked in the hyper-centre of Delft through or along the canals, passing by markets, full of small restaurants and terraces.
We were able to see the main square, Markt, with the town hall and its two churches, which we will talk about right after, as well as Oostpoort – the East gate, a little farther from the center.
The new church in Delft
The new Church of Delft, Nieuwe Kerk, is located in the main square in front of the town hall. It is a geographical landmark in the city centre with its 108.75 meters high steeple. Its peculiarity and what makes it a tourist place is that it houses the vault of the Princes of the House of Orange-Nassau. Without going into details, the house of Orange-Nassau has been the reigning House of the Netherlands since 1814. It consists of all the families who sat on the Dutch throne, beginning with Guillaume 1st of Orange.
In the centre of the church, you can see the mausoleum of William the Taciturn, in other words Guillaume 1st. It is under this mausoleum that the tomb of the Princes is found. 45 Royal persons were buried and rest in this vault as the late husband of Beatrix of the Netherlands, the last queen in power until 2013, who was buried in 2002.
Additionally, you can admire the beautiful stained-glass windows which go around the mausoleum and testify to part of the history of this monument.
The organ is also very impressive.
The bell tower
The other peculiarity of this church is that it is possible to climb almost all the way to the top of the steeple (85 meters) in order to admire the city. This tower of 108.75 meters high is, moreover, the second highest steeple of the Netherlands. You have to climb 376 narrow spiral steps to get to the top, which is not given to everyone. The ascent is also forbidden for children under the age of six.
The old church of Delft
The old church of Delft, Oude Kerk, is located three blocks from the new church. It is just as impressive and interesting. Moreover, it houses the second largest bell (9 tons) of the country.
In this church, the floor is also made up of pavement which serves as tombstones to many Dutch personalities. You can see the tomb of Johannes Vermeer, the famous painter of “The Dairy” or of “The Girl With The Pearl“.
Price of Visits:
We paid €8 per person (adult) to visit both churches and the tower. The entrance tickets gave us the right for a drink offered in a nice coffee shop next door. You can see more pictures of Delft on our Facebook page. 🙂