Fun things to do in Delft

  • Tower in the distance
    Tower in the distance
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  • From the rear
    From the rear
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  • From the rear 2
    From the rear 2
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Delft

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    Pharmacy

    by iandsmith Updated May 20, 2007

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    Within these walls you can see a permanent collection relating to things pharmaceutical and nursing in the Netherlands.
    Displays include the work of Pieter van Foreest, who was Prince William of Orange's personaly physician, and the microscopes of Anthonie van Leeuwenhoek.
    The tours are for groups only, 10 to 25 persons.

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    Oude Delft 116

    by iandsmith Updated May 10, 2007

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    On this site there used to be the Heilige Geest (Holy Ghost) Nursing Home which became an orphanage for girls. However, the building was demolished in 1769 and replaced with what you see here, done in French style, but still a girls' home.
    From 1955-2002 it was used by the municipal authorities but, from 2004 on, it has been hired out to the Cultural Heritage House people. At Oude Delft 137 is the Boys' Orphanage and it is still used by the municipal authorities.
    In the garden next to this building is the bust of Dirk Coster (1887-1956) and, on the fence is a plaque dedicated to Anthony Van Leeuwenhoek, incorrectly placed here in the misconceived view that he had lived here.

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    The good, the bad and the ugly

    by iandsmith Written May 10, 2007

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    One's vision of canals is often much like the first picture. Lovely verdant lawns and rows of trees alongside a reflective body of water.
    Of course, not all water is so pretty. After having seen what is dumped into them (pic 4) and skirted the sides into what seemed like an attractive park I can assure you there are other sides to Delft and just about everywhere I've ever been that aren't so pretty.
    Pics 2 & 3 show a foetid cesspool of muck, the latter amazingly with a duck swimming in it. I must remember not to order Peking Duck while staying in Delft!
    I actually thought it was a bit of a shame because the area had much potential as a nature park similar to the one I used to go through and admire every day but obviously there was a lack of commitment to same.
    It was right next to where I took the passing boat shots in the previous tip.

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    Heilige Geesthuis

    by iandsmith Written May 9, 2007

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    This building of many uses was originally, as the name suggests, a guest house from the 16th century but it later became a "Foundling Hospital".
    It was very long in its former guise, 72 metres in fact. From 1578 to the 19th century it was a carpenters yard for the town carpenter.
    Around the town on various buildings of historical interest you can see signs (pic 2) that give you some brief information on what the building has been.

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    World's greatest salesmen

    by iandsmith Written May 9, 2007

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    They walk among you, yet you know not who they are. They impact upon your life, yet they are hidden behind a veil. They are liable to pop up anywhere, when least expected. They are the products of the world's greatest salesmen; those who seek to unleash these monstrosities upon an unsuspecting public. And who are the bureaucrats that allow them to do it?
    I have no answers unfortunately but I do know that Delft has no exclusivity for the species yet they clearly are in evidence.
    The first two are to be found near the Prisenhof while the latter sits beside Oude Delft canal.

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    How to get there

    by iandsmith Written May 8, 2007

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    The best approach to the park is along the Twee Molentjes Kade, definitely a street you won't get confused with any other. This will take you under the motorway and then you can take you pick of trails on the right.
    At some stage you will undoubtedly notice the boat shed and restaurant that is all the go in summer. You can hire canoes or just sit by the small lake and enjoy the ambience.
    Further around there is a larger lake where sailboarding is the main sport though there is also some birdwatching for twitchers (pic 3), understandably at different times to the sailboarding.
    I made a point of going home on a different trail each night and it was like recharging your batteries on the way home instead of fighting your way through traffic.
    Though I cursed when first finding out where my accommodation was, in the end I loved it for being just outside the city.

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    A walk in the park

    by iandsmith Written May 8, 2007

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    On reflection, it was really a ride in the park with little bits of walking. No matter, it was being there that counted and being there every afternoon that ended each day on such a pleasant note that in the end I really looked forward to going back to my accommodation every night, just so I could pass through Delft's delightful, but much underpublicized, park.

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    Finding out

    by iandsmith Written May 8, 2007

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    The Tourist Information Centre in Delft is one of the better ones I've come across. Not only do they have quality maps and information for free, they also have free internet. Wow, did I make use of that!
    However, one other thing that's also scattered around the town are these cubes set at unusual angles. They also have relevant information about the area you're in.

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    No veneer for Vermeer

    by iandsmith Written May 7, 2007

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    A simple, noticeably worn plaque in the northern transept opposite the pulpit of the Oude Kerk (Old Church) marks the spot where Johannes Vermeer, one of the truly great Flemish painters, is believed to be interred.
    It is a poignant place with a copy of one of his works usually sitting on an easel and a wreath or such nearby.
    There is another plaque, newer and with much more detail (pic 3) but it is largely ignored.
    At the main entrance to the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) there is a board (pic 2) outlining some items of interest about Vermeer. Like how the Markt was where he spent much of his life, a fact that is reflected in some of his landscapes, particularly "A view of Delft".
    Though he was baptised in the New Church, it is his relatives (wife, parents, sister and one grandfather) who are buried here.

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    On arrival

    by iandsmith Updated May 6, 2007

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    I must have come from Antwerp. The days were melding into each other but I guessed it must have been a weekday. It looked like peak hour in the afternoon. I enviously eyed off all the bikes as a possibility of reaching my accommodation. My, they do like their cycles in Holland. Still, with my bag that would have bordered on impossibility.
    Time to get my instructions out.
    I wasn't far from the main part of town so I started walking. I had a map, how hard could it be. There was the street. Okay, so one letter was different but that was obviously a typo.
    I zig-zagged down the cobbled streets and soon I came upon that leaning tower. Overlooking all else it amazed me that this piece of architecture hadn't received more publicity world wide.
    Out of the corner of my eye I saw the boat (see introduction). Well, the barge really, and it was full. Full of bikes and other assorted bits and pieces. Delft was going to be different because it was already different.

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    Now that's what I call a windmill

    by iandsmith Updated May 6, 2007

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    De Roos is the name of this windmill, or, as I would call it, more than a windmill. It's a successor of a windmill built on a rondelle within the town wall at least as far ago as the 16th century.
    The original wooden mill was replaced by a brick one in 1679, of which the hexagonal substructure of the present mill is probably a part.
    A miller's house was built against the substructure in 1728. Sometime before 1822, the upper half of the mill was replaced by the current one. Several restorations since then have saved the windmill from falling into decay.

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    A day in the country

    by iandsmith Written May 5, 2007

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    It was eye candy. Coming from a country with, in places, the worst drought in recorded history, the fields of the Netherlands were pleasant on the eye.
    Just the rows of trees (pics 2&3) I found interesting.
    Then of course, along came a gorgeous little horse with rider (pic 4) and that was all fine until I saw the sheep. Oh my, was I on another planet. They looked like something made up for a kids' show. Amazing.

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    Rural outlook

    by iandsmith Written May 5, 2007

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    I moved on, the road was straight and the canal presented photo opportunites (1,3,4); the last one I found interesting because birds were actually nesting in the canal.
    Then I came upon another converted windmill, this one looked simply delightfu and had 360 degree views.
    It marked the turning point for me where I headed right. I only had 500 metres to go.

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    Carriage Ride

    by Martin_S. Written Dec 12, 2006

    You can take a carriage ride around the center of town and enjoy gliding past all those people out walking. You will have to suffer the carriage with no suspension on those cobblestones though, so if you have a sore tooth it is better to walk..

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    Windmill de Roos

    by gordonilla Written May 30, 2006

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    The windmill is the last remaining of the 15 mills which were built into the perimeter of the defence walls of Delft. The mill and the adjacent living quarters is one of the most impressive monuments in Delft.

    "De Roos" is a tower grainmill with a stage and was built in 1679 and replaced a post mill which was destroyed by a storm. The living quarters were added in 1728, and the superstructure was rebuilt of stone.

    Many generations of millers have called "De Roos" their work and home; one of the more colourful millers was van Rhijn and he became the owner in 1860 and for more than 60 years, the mill was known as "De Molen van Rhijn". In 1926 The Dutch Windmill assocaitiontook over the running of the mill from the van Rhijn family. Three generations of the De Vreede family have lived and worked in the mill.

    Thanks to voluntary millers "De Roos" is still fully operational.

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