In the middle of the Markt there is a statue of Hugo de Groot, one of the most famous of Delft citizens. Born in 1583 in Delft. He is regarded as a great scientist and statesman. He wrote about the right of war and peace (de jure belli ac pacis) and about the free sea (De mare libero). These writings have been standardworks until in the 20th century with regards to international law, humanitarian law and marine law.
I'll write more on him when I arrive in the Nieuwe Kerk where he is buried.
Behind the statue, you see the neo-gothic parish church (1875-1882) on the Burgwal. As is common in The Netherlands, the original main churches (Nieuwe and Oude Kerk) were taken over by the Protestants, forcing the Roman Catholics to build new churches.
When you've finished ogling the tilted old church tower, this fine edifice is sure to catch your attention on the other side of the canal. For some reason I never went and photographed the plaque that has been installed on interesting buildings by the oh-so-helpful local tourist authority.
Had I done so I would have known that it said:
"Very large and luxurious late-gothic private house with stone facade and a nice turret. Built for Jan De Huyter about 1505. Since 1645 Seat of the Dyke Conservancy Board of Delfland. Coats of arms above the entrance designed by Pieter Post (1652)."
There's more however because it was here that Jan Huigen Grotius lived, the father of Hugo Grotius.
The house is an imposing example of the late mediaeval style and an amalgam of existing buildings. In fact, the 16th century facade is almost certain to have been built in front of a previous dwelling.
Hugo De Groot was truely one of the greatest men in history. Not only in national Dutch terms, but in worldy perspective. He was born in 1583 in Delft, but sadly his genius was not recognised in the Netherlands in the turmoil of independance war. In Delft he also was a scientist and before Galileo prooved his theories in Pisa, master De Groot went up the New Church tower and threw two canonballs down to proove that Aristoteles was not completely right in all his theories. Hugo De Groot however became most famous in law, by writing the famous legal works "De jure belli ac pacis" (the rights during war and peace) and "De mare libero" (about the free sea). Until the present days these literary highlight form a basis on international law. Hugo died in Rostock (Germany) far away from his beloved Delft and after wandering through Europe. To commemorate this grand son of Delft his statue is rising up in the middle of the Markt.
Hugo Grotius (or Hugo de Groot) is considered as the father of international law. He was born in Delft in 1583 but was arrested together with van Oldenbarnevelt. Grotius legendary escape from prison (in a wooden box) is well known in the Netherlands.
A statue of Grotius is situated in front of the Nieuwe Kerk at the market. His tomb is in the Nieuwe Kerk.
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