Delft

Delft

([dɛlft] (About this sound listen)) is a city and municipality in the European country of the Netherlands. There it is located in the province of South Holland.

Delft is popular tourist attraction in the country. It is home to Delft University of Technology (“TU Delft”), regarded as center of technological research and development in the Netherlands, Delft Blue pottery and the currently reigning House of Orange-Nassau.

Delft is located roughly between Rotterdam, to the south, and The Hague, to the north. Together with them, it is part of both Rotterdam–The Hague Metropolitan Area and the Randstad.

Historically, thanks to the pioneering contributions of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Martinus Beijerinck, Delft can be considered to be the birthplace of microbiology as a scientific discipline.

Delft

Delft

([dɛlft] (About this sound listen)) is a city and municipality in the European country of the Netherlands. There it is located in the province of South Holland.

Delft is popular tourist attraction in the country. It is home to Delft University of Technology (“TU Delft”), regarded as center of technological research and development in the Netherlands, Delft Blue pottery and the currently reigning House of Orange-Nassau.

Delft is located roughly between Rotterdam, to the south, and The Hague, to the north. Together with them, it is part of both Rotterdam–The Hague Metropolitan Area and the Randstad.

Historically, thanks to the pioneering contributions of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Martinus Beijerinck, Delft can be considered to be the birthplace of microbiology as a scientific discipline.

History

Early history

The Gemeenlandshuis and the Old Church in (1877) by Cornelis Springer

Delft in 1649 (Blaeu)

The city of Delft came into being beside a canal, the ‘Delf’, which comes from the word delven, meaning delving or digging, and led to the name Delft. It presumably started around the 11th century as a landlord court.

From a rural village in the early Middle Ages, Delft developed into a city, that in the 13th century (1246) received its charter. (For some more information about the early development, see Gracht).

The town’s association with the House of Orange started when William of Orange (Willem van Oranje), nicknamed William the Silent (Willem de Zwijger), took up residence in 1572. At the time he was the leader of growing national Dutch resistance against Spanish occupation, known as the Eighty Years’ War. By then Delft was one of the leading cities of Holland and it was equipped with the necessary city walls to serve as a headquarters. An attack by Spanish forces in October of that year was repelled.

After the Act of Abjuration was proclaimed in 1581, Delft became the de facto capital of the newly independent Netherlands, as the seat of the Prince of Orange.

When William was shot dead in 1584 by Balthazar Gerards in the hall of the Prinsenhof, the family’s traditional burial place in Breda was still in the hands of the Spanish. Therefore, he was buried in the Delft Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), starting a tradition for the House of Orange that has continued to the present day.