The Nieuwe Kerk ('new church') was Delft's second parish church, and until the Reformation was called St. Ursula. Early in the 80-Years War it was confiscated by the protestants. The choir is now the mausoleum of the family of Oranje-Nassau, the current royal family, with graves of all Oranges starting with prince Willem I up to queen Juliana, who was buried here in 2004. The tower is one of the tallest in the country.
At Nieuwe Kerk we saw the tomb of Willem of Orange, the memorial that VT member ATLC had told us about when we visited her in Brielle.
After Willem was assassinated by a Spanish spy in 1584, his dog (who had once saved his life by alerting him to the presence of an intruder) refused to eat and simply pined away. When the tomb was designed, the sculptor decided to memorialize the faithful dog along with his master.
The stained glass windows in Nieuwe Kerk were especially lovely, with the rich, deep colors of precious stones: ruby, topaz, amethyst, garnet.
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.
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.
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
Taking a hundred year to build, the tower of the New church was finally completed in 1496. Damaged by a lightening strike in the 16th century the present tower was later rebuilt to its present height of 108.75m (second in The Netherlands only to the Dom tower in Utrecht).
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.
Like in so many other towns and villages here in the Netherlands the religious buildings or structures seem to overpower and draw you into the old city center. Here in Delft, the Nieuwe Kerk with its bell towers is the dominant one.
This is what I found in Wikpedia...
"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 Princess (Queen of the Netherlands from 1948-1980) Juliana and her husband Prince Bernhard in 2004. The royal crypt is not open to the public."
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.
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!
The new church is the burial site of the Dutch royals. The mausoleum of Prince William of Orange is also there. You can climb the 356 steps to the top of the church for a really nice view of the city on a clear day.
In 1536, the high tower of the New church became the doom of Delft. Lightning struch during a fierce storm and not only the tower was damaged heavily, but everything in Delft Westwards from the church burned down to the ground in the great fire of Delft. The initial apple on top (symbol of infinity) was replaced by a peak, that as well got struck by lightning in 1872. Only then the present top section of the tower was constructed, reaching a height of 108,75 metres and making it the second highest church within the Netherlands (only the Dom in Utrecht reaches closer to heaven with 114 metres). 356 steps lead to the higher ground from where a spectacular view over Delft can be seen.
History recalls the following legend that stood at the basis of the construction of the New Church:
In Januari 1351 brother Symon (a strange beggar) meets Jan Col, that wanted to bring him some food. Symon mumbles to Jan Col "Don't you see the heaven's opening?" and both look up onto a shining golden church, devoted to holy mother Mary. Shortly after Symon dies, but every time that Jan Col is on the Market, he sees this golden church rising in front of his eyes, bathing in light. He descides that a church should be built here and two "Begijntjes" support him in this idea. After some persuations, the city governement allow it and constructions of a wooden church start. The New Church was a fact and later became larger, higher and more significant then the excisting Old Church. The wooden church always has been devoted to Lady Mary (in Dutch "Maria"), but the basilica came under protection of the holy saint Ursula.
Besides the Royal Thomb and the Gravemonument of William of Orange, the New Church offers more. There is a permanent exposition of religious items from the Netherlands, such as a State Bible. This translation of the original Bible was the first without a double interpretation, such as the first modern bibles were. In the Netherlands the bible got transalted direct from copies of the Dead Sea scroles and so not from interpreted versions in Latin. Furthermore remarkable are the glass-in-lead windows that show biblical scenes as well as memorable events from the royalties in the House of Orange and the Dutch history.