After the explosion in a powder magazine in 1654, the church no longer had stained glass windows. The crowning glory of the restoration between 1949 and 1961 came when 27 STAINED GLASS WINDOWS were gradually installed. The leaded windows of the Oude Kerk are regarded as the best work of the glazier Joep Nicolas. He made 25 windows all-together.
The "Liberation Window" in the end wall of the northern transept was the first to be installed in 1956 and was a gift from the Delft City Council. The two windows flanking the tower, representing William the Silent and Queen Wilhelmina, portray the glory of the House of Orange. The other windows have Biblical subjects.
This is a beautiful picture of the OUDE KERK with its reflection in the canal. The Bell or Bourdon is located inside the 75-metre tower.
Founded around 1200, the Oude Kerk is located on Heilige Geestkerkhof 25 in the centrum of Delft.
This Gothic style Church is the oldest one of Delft, the 75-meter tower of which is crooked quite a bit, well I should say a lot. Inside you can find several tombstones, almost 400 people are buried there, among them famous painter Johannes Vermeer. Don't expect anything huge though. Vermeer's tomb is the smallest one in the church. However, many other tombs are real marterpieces.
Admissions: For 2,5 Euro you get to see both the New and the Old churches. You also get a nice brochure with explanations
Besides many paintings and "epifats" (grave marker stones with commemorating texts of certain prominent citizens), in the Old Church (Oude Kerk) some very famous Dutch (and worldly) people find their last resting place. Everyone knows about Anthony van leeuwenhoek, the inventor of the microscope with which he discovered microscopic live and bacteria (a jump in healthcare and civil hygiene). Or painter Johannes Vermeer that lived (and died) here in Delft. More national fame have Piet Hein, admiral of the Dutch fleet that "stole" the Spanish Silverfleet heading home from South America; and Maarten Tromp, also an admiral that sank the Spanish armada in 1637 and brought the "Republic" closer to independance then ever. Finally the grave of Elisabeth Morgan needs mentioning. She was the daughter of nobelman Marnix van Aldegonde, the writer of the "Wilhelmus", our national hymne.
Inside the church await you some wonderful surprises too. Besides the graves or gravemonuments of famous Dutchmen (see next To-Do-Tip) there are special decorative items within the relatively light interior of the Old Church. Three organs (which is already an acceptional amount) are present in the various parts of the church. The main organ from 1857 has 41 "voices" per three claviers (keyboards). 2580 Pipes rise up in the various components of the magnificent musical instrument. Around the church are various glass-in-lead windows that shine dazzling colours inside when the sun shines through them. The originals from before 1654 were lost (in this year the gunpowderhouse exploded and shattered each and everyone of the windows). Only in between 1949 until 1961 all 27 windows were completely restored. 25 of them were the lifes work of Joep nicolas. The windows show, besides the usual biblical scenes, the liberation of the Netherlands as well as two important figures of the House of Orange: William the Silent (the first, see tips about the Prince's Court) and Wilhelmina, our queen during the two world wars.
Within the tower of the Oude Kerk (Old Church) there are two special bells hanging. On the fourth floor, attached in an oak wood framework, the Trinitas bell is made in 1570. Besides it hangs the Laudate from 1719. The Trinitas is also called Bourdon and is the second heaviest and largest bell within the Netherlands (only the Arnhem remembrance bell is heavier and larger). The Bourdon weighs nine tons and has a diameter of seven meters. Softly the Bourdon is ringing the hours and it is hardly ever rang in full motion, due to the force that it has. The trembling of the sound is devistating to the monumental church if it would be rang regularly. However, with special occasions of the royal house, the Bourdon is heard ver Delft and wide surroundings. Recently they were sad occasions, when former queen Juliana, her husband Bernard and prince Cluas (husband of present queen Beatrix) were burried in Delft.
Yes, indeed, the tower of the Oude Kerk (Old Church) does not stand straight up in the air. The soft soil that can be found everywhere in the Netherlands has disbalanced the tower and extra support connections as well as stabilisators have stopped this proces. The 75 meters high tower is not anymore the highest in town, after the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) was built, but for many still the most graceful figure in the sky. Already around the year 1000 there was a wooden church here, but the present stone variant was erected in 1246. The church has had it's share in names throughout history as it was also known as the Saint Hippolytus as well as the Saint Bartholomeus (actually also the architect of the first construction). Remarkable are the four side towers, that have been restaurated in 1995 and ... in opposit to the crooked tower ... are standing straight up!
The Oude Kerk ('old church'), as its name suggests, is the oldest church of Delft. It has an impressive leaning tower in Flemish Gothic style and chapels and transept in rich Brabantine Gothic style. The church was built so close to a canal that a bridge had to be built to allow people to enter the church through the tower.
This is the oldest church of Delft. The parish church dates back to 1200. In the centuries that followed the church was much enlarged. The tower was added between 1325 and 1350.
And ever since the middle ages the tower is already leaning.
In the church you can find the tombs of such famous dutch seafaring men as Peit heyn and Maarten Tromp.
An entrance ticket costs 2,50 euro (2004) and that is a combined ticket with the New Church
Officially, the Oude Kerk has been built in the 13th century. However, historicans assume that there was a wooden church on this very same location in the 11th century already. The church as it is now is characterized by its 5 spires.
To photograph the Old Church is not easy as the streets are narrow and the buildings high. The harsh sun was a bother too.
So here I have an impression of the tower.
This late gothic church is from the 12th century. Indeed older than the Nieuwe Kerk! The tower is famously crooked and is nearly 2 metres from standing straight.
One of the famous Dutch painters is buried here: Johannes Vermeer. He has immortalised Delft and himself with his brilliant paintings of Delft.
And here is also the connection with my hometown Brielle because Maarten Harpertszn Tromp, the famous admiral born in Brielle, lies buried here too.
I did not visit inside this church, this time. The exterior though is much more interesting and attractive than the Nieuwe Kerk. But more about that later.
The church is originally from the 13th century but it has been extended many times. The beautifully carved clock tower is from the 14th century. The Gothic north transept dates from the start of the 16th century and it was designed by Anthonis Keldermans. The floor has many 17th century gravestones (watch your step - I fell while looking up and walking!!) These include Johannes Vermeer, Admiral Piet Hein and A. van Leeuwenhoek.
The ticket for the New Church in Delft also allows you to visit the Old church which is only a short walk away. - more info to follow
The Old Church (De Oude Kerk) is just slightly older than the new church. It was founded around 1240 and it's Delft's oldest church: it's in romanesque style, I think. From far away it's really easy to recognise: its tower is leaning distinctively.
Inside you can see the tombstones of many famous Dutch persons: the admirals Piet Hein and Maarten Tromp, the Delft painter Vermeer, and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the inventor of the microscope.
Old painting by famous Dutch painter:
Website Johannes Vermeer
(This painting at The Mauritshuis - The Haghe)
To make a photo of the previous two tips I had to cross the canal to get a better distance. Then I looked to my right and saw the tower of the Oude Kerk again.