Saturday, May 6, 2017

Delft

Delft is a fairly small city in southwestern Netherlands, known for Delft Blue pottery, for Delft University of Technology, and for being the seat of the first William of Orange.  According to our tour guides, a large fraction of the city's population are students.  We walked from our buses to the Markt square, which includes the city hall.  Workers were taking down various things which had been set up a day earlier for King's Day, but had not yet gotten to the band shell.  (I saw a forklift lift several outhouses onto a truck, making me realize that I didn't want to use any of them.)

Like Amsterdam and Giethoorn, Delft has its share of canals.  Bicycles are parked on either side of this one.

Here's one view of the Oude Kerk (Old Church).

Not far from the Old Church is the former home of William of Orange (also called William the Silent), which is now a museum known as the Prinsenhof (Prince's Court).  This is also where he was fatally shot, becoming one of the earliest political figures to suffer this fate.  During his lifetime, after being appointed stadtholder (governor) of Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht by the Spanish king, he eventually turned against the Spanish and joined the revolt that would eventually lead to the Netherlands becoming independent.  This tower is part of the Prinsenhof.

In a courtyard adjacent the Prinsenhof is a statue of William.  He would become the great-grandfather of another William of Orange, who ruled England with his wife Mary.

From another canal, here's another view of the Oude Kerk.  The lean is not the result of camera perspective.  The church tower really is leaning.

This metal plaque commemorates Delft native Antony van Leeuwenhoek, who invented the compound microscope.  (Whether his first name was Anton, Antonie or Antony seems to depend on which source you read.)

I eventually found my way back to the stadhuis (city hall).  From this angle, it's not obscured by the band shell, but by a truck and numerous bicycles.

Speaking of bicycles, one of our guides told us that the canals in Amsterdam are three meters deep - one meter of water, one meter of mud, and one meter of bicycles.

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