On the Market square of Delft stands tall the high tower of the Niewe Kerk. It is one of the highest in The Netherlands and inside the church are the graves of the Orange-family (royal) of The Netherlands. Especially the beautiful grave monument of the father of the fatherland, William of Orange, is surely worth a visit. The Orange-family are very much loved by the Dutch people for many reasons. They always have been an example to us and have had a significant role in the forming of the Dutch identity.
The figure of William of Orange in white marble. I often find these kind of statues, sometimes just a wee bit larger than life very lifelike and thus impressive. As if they can stand up and talk at any time.
At the foot end there is a woman figure holding a trumpet for good fame and bad. She blows the trumpet for good fame of course. She's on tip toe which made her fall over once or twice and caused quite a bit of extra money to keep her standing!
The first figure of William of Orange shows him in life. I've copied this bit of text from the brochure:
"In honour of God Almighty and in eternal memory of William of Nassau, Prince of Orange, Father of the Fatherland, who valued the prosperity of the Netherlands higher than his own interests or those of his family; who twice, and largely at his own expense, gathered powerful armies and led them into battle under the command of the States; who averted the tyranny of Spain, brought back and restored the true religion and ancient laws; who finally bequeathed the almost fully regained liberty to be confirmed by his son Prince Maurice, heir to the virtues of his father; the truly pious, prudent and invincible hero whom King Philip II of Spain, the terror of Europe, feared, but could neither subdue nor intimidate, but killed with heinous perfidy by the hand of a hired assassin, the United Provinces have commissioned this to be erected as an eternal memorial to his virtues."
William of Orange also left his footprints in my hometown Brielle where he married his third wife Charlotte de Bourbon, a French princess.
Four women figures corner the grave of WIlliam of Orange. They symbolise Freedom, Courage, Justice and Faith and are supposed to be the four great virtues and ideals that the "Father of the Fatherland" brought about in The Netherlands.
The grave was built by the famous Dutch architect Hendrik de Keyser between 1614 and 1621 and finished by his son Pieter in 1923. It was restored recently (1997-2001).
But walking past the protestant austerity, one hits on a very baroque ornamental grave in the choir of the church. Almost as if it doesn't belong there. Or maybe the lack of ornaments elsewhere makes this grave stand out. Trust me, it's an ugly thing. A matter of tast of course. But because this is the grave of the first Prince of Orange, one is impressed by the historical feeling.
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