"Delft, Nederlands (Holland)" Delft by edwis

Delft Travel Guide: 505 reviews and 1,372 photos

Train Ride from Amsterdam

One day we took a 50-minute train ride from Amsterdam to the little Dutch village of Delft in southern Holland (the Netherlands). Delft is located halfway between Rotterdam and The Hague (Den Haag). Although the Netherlands is the country's official name, many people still call it Holland.

We actually saw several windmills going through the countryside. Delft is famous for the blue on white porcelain known as ‘Delftware’. One quickly learns while there, that the authentic ware comes only from the ‘Royal Delft Works’. It is based upon the Chinese porcelain of the 17th century and is hand painted, having the Royal Delft Logo on it. Then it can cost a whole lot of money. Like a coffee mug in the gift shop at the Royal Delft Works factory for only 109e. We settled for some fake Delftware candleholders for 6e at the souvenir store instead. We did take a very fun and interesting self guided tour of the factory. They have it all setup nicely, one just follows the arrows and signs from room to room. You actually stand next to a table where two ladies are doing the hand painting on some Delftware. Every piece is individualized. We saw people there ordering custom made items for birthdays, baby births, and weddings. All this is done via a pretty sophisticated computer ordering system. An order gets verified and re-verified about 6 times so there are no mistakes.

Walking back from the Royal Works, we wander a little and came upon a boulevard several blocks long of neon green trees! This is caused by the algae growing on the trunks which reflect the sunlight, and it appears as bright lime green and is spectacular. The homes along this boulevard were pretty with one of them having an actual real thatched roof. I guess we weren’t the first folks to discover this area. We came into a large campus area with many blocks of school buildings. It was the Delft University of Technology, which we learned is the most famous school of the Netherlands. It was founded as an academy for civil engineering by King William II. Today about 10,000 students are enlisted at TU Delft which is about 10% of the population of Delft.

Delft’s old town ‘centrum’

is nice plaza with many of the historic buildings preserved. This includes the very high Royal Tower and a spectacularly ornate old City Hall, and churches. There is the old church (oude kerk) and the church from the 1400s, which is the new church (nieuwe kerk). When you enter the new church and Royal Tower complex, they give you a little map brochure that shows you where the 33 members of the royal family are buried inside the church. You can then track them down, including the very famous Prince William of Orange.

Delft village has several nice canals and some very pretty crossover bridges, and again plenty of bikes. Some of the old houses had a door which lined up right with the water level line on the canal, so I guess you could step right out into a boat. There was plenty of street art in the mall walking areas to keep your interest. We discovered some bronze like sculptures which are done in the style referred to as “Dutch Grotesque”. Whatever that meant? This is where the famous painter, Johannes Vermeer was born, and there are little historic signs throughout, which you can actually make into the Vermeer walking tour of the city. Vermeer used Delft streets and home interiors as the subject or background of many of his paintings.The little skating rink in town had a large wall about 12 feet high and 20 feet long; all decorated with Vermeer like ‘girl with the pearl earring’ figurines. The rink also had an interesting hand warmer for the skaters, which was an 8 foot high 2 foot wide cylinder tube heated. The warm spots were outlined in paint with diagrams of various sized hands, which is where you placed your hands on it.

We found a little hole in the wall place with three tables for a lunch snack, run by two Armenian brothers. I ordered what is called a ‘hamburger baguette’ which sounded interesting. It was an oval burger on a long baguette with tomato, cukes, greens, mushrooms. It was a great deal for only 4e.

the Eastern section of Delft is the Delft Forest

(Delftse Hout) recreation area and lake, which has a sandy beach area for swimming. We didn’t make it out there since the Royal Works tour wore us out, but we understand that there is also a nudist beach area there right along the main walking path.

Our last night in Amsterdam Joan said we had to go to an Italian restaurant since she didn’t understand anything on the Dutch menus for the last 4 days in the Nederlands. Our final humble opinion is that Amsterdam is far better than Brussels, but the quaint little Brugge (Belgium) is better than the quaint Delft.

We found that you can speak English everywhere, but the natives always speak Dutch first (which might as well be Chinese), but then will speak fluent English as their secondary language. So that was fine with us. While we found that the prices in Italy on this trip were always less than back in the States (Florida), especially the food and wine costs, Amsterdam was more or less about the same expense level. Certainly not a costly financial surprise like that G.D. overpriced London.

  • Last visit to Delft: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated Jun 26, 2007
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edwis

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