I enjoyed wandering the interior of the Niewe Kerk even though its really old artefacts have all disappeared. The vast 'mausoleum' of William of Orange makes a startling focal pint: I especially liked the rather natty gilded hat held up by one of the four ladies surrounding the prone William and the marble dog lying at his feet has a lovely poignancy (the story says that it refused to eat after its master died, and thus died itself).
Oddly..given my interest in the past..I was very taken by a brand-new piece of stained-glass artwork, created by Annemiek Punt in 2008. Its theme is the story of Jairus' daughter but, despite the helpful information board, I really couldn't see the butterfly, hands or human head which are supposed to be there. It's a pretty stunning piece of work though.
You can't miss the Nieuwe Kerk: it towers over Delft's vast marketplace (Markt).
There's been a church on the spot since 1381 (built where visions appeared first to Symon, a local beggar and then to one Jan Pol, a city resident) , although badly damaged by a fire in the mid-1500s and the huge explosion of a gunpowder store in the mid-1600s.
Although those visions were of the Virgin Mary the Nieuwe Kerk is actually dedicated to St Ursula of Cologne (patron saint of teachers ans schoolchildren).
The original church was wooden but a replacement in stone was started in 1393. The fire destroyed the organ, Medieval clocks and stained-glass windows, caved-in the roof and partially ruined the tower. Its interior decoration was then largely destroyed during the Iconoclasm, followed up by the damage caused by the explosion: walls split apart, roofs caved-in again and replacement stained-glass shattered. It is surprising that any of the original building remains at all!
For an extra fee you can climb 300+ steps to the top of the tower, the second tallest in the Netherlands. I believe there are fantastic views from there, but I didn't try it.
Entrance in April 2013 cost 3.50 euro and covers admission to the Oude Kerk as well.
Eleven people are buried in the old vault, 35 people are buried in the new vault of the royal crypt.
Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia (18 January 1795 – The Hague, 1 March 1865) was a queen consort of the Netherlands.
She was born as the eighth child and sixth daughter of Paul I of Russia and Empress Maria Feodorovna (born Sophie Dorothea of Württemberg), and thus was Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Anna Pavlovna of Russia. In the Netherlands, due to nineteenth century Dutch transliteration conventions, she is better known as Anna Paulowna.
At one time, Emperor Napoleon I of France had asked for her hand in marriage and been refused.
The stained glass windows in the Nieuwe Kerk have been destroyed twice. The first time this happened was when a fire raged through the city in May 1536. The windows were destroyed a second time by an explosion in a Delft gunpowder factory in October 1654. It took almost three centuries for new stained glass windows to be installed, during which time the windows were partly bricked up and partly fitted with ordinary glass.
April 1 to October 30
Monday up to Saturday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Monday up to Friday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Feb-Mar Mo-Sa open 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
In case of bad weather the tower may be closed.
Adults € 3,50
Group (min. 20 pers.) € 3,00
Children (0 to 5 years) free
Children (6 - 11 years) € 1,50
Students (12 - 18 years) € 2,00
Students (19 - 25 years) € 2,00
The set of bells in the tower of the Nieuwe Kerk dates from 1660 and was made by François Hemony. He cast the 36 bells using the remains of the bells from the city hall, which were badly damaged in a serious fire in 1618.
The Church contains the splendid allegorical monument of William the Silent, executed by Hendrik de Keyser and his son Pieter about 1621.
You can watch my 3 min 34 sec Video Delft Niewe Kerk Tower Clock Bells part 2 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is a landmark Protestant church. The building is located on Delft Market Square (Markt), opposite to the City Hall (Dutch: Stadhuis).
The church tower is the second highest in the Netherlands, after the Domtoren in Utrecht.
In 1584, William the Silent was entombed here in a mausoleum designed by Hendrick and Pieter de Keyser. Since then members of the House of Orange-Nassau have been entombed in the royal crypt. The latest are Queen Juliana and her husband Prince Bernhard in 2004.
The New Church, formerly the church of St. Ursula (14th century).
You can watch my 1 min 45 sec Video Delft Niewe Kerk Tower Clock Bells out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
It was comfortable inside the church as I viewed the stained glass and art works. I’d forgotten about the chill winds from the north and the splattering rain.
I opted to ascend the steeple (for a price of course). Since I train and race push bikes I usually have no trouble on the way up and here was no different. What interested me of the 375 steps (3 were down at the clockworks - pic 2) was that the last 177 went in the opposite direction. Perhaps this was to avoid giddiness on the narrow sandstone steps.
I still enjoy the atmosphere of the ascent, climbing through history up to sample a panoramic view. Here and there though small cracks whistled a foreboding of what was to come.
As I stepped onto the narrow balcony (pic 3) the wind battered every part of my being. Up here it was gale force with intermittent showers of driven moisture. On the windward side photography was nigh well impossible though I managed to get some shots of my main objectives, the town hall and the old church.
The church had a problem, a distinct lack of stained glass windows that had come about as a result of the Delft Powder magazine blowing up and wrecking about all they had.
It wasn't until the 1920's when something was done about it and their current collection started to evolve but after 1936 no further windows had been added until the one you see here which is a bit of an eyecatcher.
It has only recently been added from a design by Annamiek Punt who set up her studio in 1979. Funds came from a bequest by Mrs. Scheepmaker-Pruissers. Unlike Smiths, I'm willing to wager there's not too many of them in the phone book!
The church currently gives out a brochure on how it was made and it answers a lot of questions I had about the medium. One thing that fascinated me was that first they have to blow the glass into the familiar red hot balloon shape. The cylindrical pieces of glass are then cut, reheated and rolled into flat plates. Following a careful inspection the glass may then be designated as genuine hand-blown antique glass. Of course this is after all the drawings, working drawings and cutting profiles have been done; then you can go on to the cutting, staining and lead-came framing. Just a couple of minutes and it's all done! No wonder it's so expensive.
The window portrays the raising of Jairus' daughter from the dead by the way. It presents different layers of perspective and includes a cocoon, butterfly wings, interlaced faces and a hand directing the child toward the light.
Since nothing is fully detailed it is hoped the church window will continue to intrigue viewers for years to come.
Personally speaking, apart from the hand, I couldn't make head nor tail of it!
History is writ large upon many a stained glass window; if only you had a guide or such to point it out (as I did in Wells). In Delft they have come up with a wonderful solution covering both the old and the new churches. They have produced a double ended book containing a guide to all of their stained glass. Makes it much more interesting.
Thus I can tell you that in the first window you can expect to see not only Prince Willem, who started the whole line, but the Pope, Luther and Calvin, as well as the Spanish kings Philip II and Charles V. George Rueter was responsible for the design.
The second pic depicts the bond between the House of Orange and the Netherlands.
The third depicts the entry of the Nassaus into the Netherlands from the Castle of Breda while the fourth, a much lighter and almost abstract work designed by Willem (not another one!) van Konijnburg, shows Willem III and Mary surrounded by their chief advisors.
The last is unusual as it reflects the importance of the sea in Dutch history, particularly at the time of the sea-beggars. It was also designed by Willem van Konijnenburg.
I had ridden in from the hotel on one of their bikes. The weather was unkind. Unkind in a cold way. Since I race back home I'd ridden in lots of types of weather but, when it's cold, I'm usually prepared. Today I was caught out. My hands were a degree short of being frostbitten and my ears were stinging. Perhaps it was appropriate that today I was viewing a mausoleum highlighted by cold hard marble.
I was in the Nieuwe Kerk viewing the resting place of Prince William of Orange aka William the Silent. Well, he certainly was now.
Hendrick de Keyser, master sculptor, did this between 1614 and his death in 1621 when his son Pieter took over and finished it over the next two years.
One interesting sidelight is that they had a fairly large budget overrun due to the statue repeatedly falling down.
It was renovated between 1997 and 2001 due to salt damage of the marble.
The dead prince's figure is carved, along with the bed, from a single piece of white marble and, at his feet lies his dog which, according to legend, refused to eat or drink after his master's death and died from hunger and thirst.
In pic 2 you can see a bronze of the recumbent Prince in full armour beneath the coat of arms of the House of Orange.
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