It is within these walls that the man of whom much has been writ and said once trod. William of Orange, also known in these parts as William the Silent, led the resistance against Spanish rule in the Netherlands.
The well laid out museum gives and insight into the times and William's role in the rebellion.
Other protagonists during the Eighty Years' War, such as Philip II and the Duke of Alva, also feature.
During mediaeval times Delft experienced its golden age and the first floor reflects that with a collection of silver, tapestries, earthenware and paintings,
It was this city after all that inspired Vermeer though his works are somewhat thin on the ground in his home town.
How remarkable then that the most memorable thing in the whole place is some chipped concrete. They have the hide (my opinion) to sell postcards of it for 3 euros while other cards are normal prices (under one euro). And, of course, they don't allow cameras. I deliberately didn't buy one because of the price.
Its significance I hear you ask?
Well, it's the three bullet marks at the bottom of the stairs where William himself was assassinated. A very moving experience realising that someone actually died on this very spot.
Originally a monestary built around 1400, the Prinsenhof was also a royal residence in the 16th century. Currently, it is a municipal museum holding art and historical artifacts. Entrance is 5 euros (adults), but you could get a combined ticket to the Prinsenhof, Nusantara and Lambert van Meerten museums for 6 euros. Look for bullet holes from the assassination of William of Orange on the stairwell. This area also has some nice courtyards and is a great place for a stroll.
Het Prinsenhof (the prince's court) was first a convent and later the residence of William The Silent. It is now a museum with a permanent exhibition about William the Silent and the Eighty Year's War. The place where William of Orange was murdered by Bathazar Gerards is also shown there. Throughout the year, the museum houses also smaller exhibtions and events. Next to the museum, you will find two other musea: The Lambert van Meerten museum (ceramics) and the Nusantara museum (East asian culture and history).
Originally a convent founded around 1400, the PRINSENHOF or "Prince's Court, was taken over by the city of Delft in 1572, but the nuns were allowed to stay. The last nun died at the Prinsenhof in 1640.
Before it became the Municipal Museum in 1887, it was the residence of William of Orange.
Admission to the Museum is 5 Euros for Adullts.
For all Dutch people, Delft should have a very special meaning. It was here that William of Orange lived during the times in which we started to become aware of Dutch independance and the basic rights of people (freedom of speach and religion). William of Orange lived in the "Prinsenhof" (court of princes) and it is now a museum.
Most horrible place here is the bases of the staircase, where our father of the fatherland was murdered by Balthasar Geerards, hired to kill him by the Spanish king Philips II. One says that the bullet went straight through William and scratched a piece from the wall. This damaged wall is still visible (see left of the staircase, the plates on the wall - in the picture). Now-a-days the complex is used as museum, telling the story of Willem van Oranje as well as the complex conflict that started in his time between the Lowlands and the Habsburgian rulers from Spain. For Dutch people this is a MUST visit once in their lifes, for foreign visitors a highly recommended museum to understand the history of the Netherlands and basis of the culture.
Originally the Prinsenhof (= Prince's Court) was a convent for a sister society that bought it's first house here around 1400. Slowly more buildings around the original one were purchased and in 1402 the city granted a wall built to close of the complex and it became the Saint Agatha convent. The complex grew considerably but had to be renovated after the cityfire of 1536.
In the 80 years independance struggle of the Lowlands against Spanish rule, the convent was confiscated by the city of Delft and somewhat later appointed as home for Willem van Oranje (William of Orangë - see next to-do-tip). After his murder the complex fell apart for various use. A reception hall, the "Lakenhal (Cloth hall), guestrooms, the seat of a charitative society and Latin School.
Willem van Oranje, a then still relatively unknown nobelman from Germany that choose Delft as his residence. He lived in the Prince's Court (this name only appeared later as he became "Stadhouder der Nederlanden" = Governor / Viceroy) from 1572 and initiated from here the independance struggle of the Lowlands, though himself always showing the utmost respect towards the Spanish (Habsburgian) king Philip II. He was present quite a lot in his Delft home and heared about the siege being lifted from Leiden in the chapel and saw his daughter Louise-Juliana being born here. He received guests here and found an awful death on the 10th of July 1584. Balthasar Geerards, a hitman hired by the Spanish king, shot William near the staircase. His (for the Dutch) famous last words: God, heb medelijden met dit volk (= have mercy on the people of this country). He became the father of the fatherland and his ancestors are still leading us in the right direction.
After the dreadful murder on William of Orange, the Prince's Court was parted in several parts and in 1657 the piece closest to the Oude Delft and it's canal became used as "Lakenhal" (Cloth Hall). This still can be seen on a relief stone above the entrance to this part on the Oude Delft side.
Almost invisible as being a chapel, the Waalse Kerk (Walonian Church) that was part of the Saint Agatha monastery, hides between the walls of the now-a-days famous Prinsenhof (= Prince's Court). Topping jjst over the walls is the little belltower and when we turn right into the alley leading to the courtyard we discover the high glass-in-lead windows. The name "Waalse" descends from the fact that this chapel was used from 1585 as protestant chapel for French and Walonian people that came here from their native countries, where Catholicism won the religious battle, leaving them as unwanted in their own neighbourhood. The chapel before that belonged to the Saint Agatha monastry that later became the Prince's Court and the home of Willem van Oranje (William of Orange) our father of the fatherland. This was also his chapel around 1572. To finish the international use of this chapel: between 1621 and 1633 it was used by the (English) Merchant Adventurers.
The Prinsenhof is a museum but was before a monastery and the living place of the prince Willen van Oranje. He was also killed in the stairs of this monastery.
And if you go to the garden, you will see a great Gadi-like sculpture made of blue ceramics!
It's a bid hidden, but if you go to the prinsenhof, you can't miss the garden. It is an oasis of rest if you enter it from the phoenixstraat and an unexpected surprise if you enter it from the center side.
In the garden there is a chair made of Delfts porcelain. Don't forget to visit the shop with candy our gandparents used to eat.
The Prinsenhof (Prince's Court) dates from the late 14th century and was originally a convent. It is here where William I of Orange, the founding father of the country, lived from 1572 until he was assassinated in 1584. You can still see the bullet holes in the stairwell.
And prinsenhof again. If you walk out of the main entrance on your left side you'll find this little garden with the statue of William the Silent. Many of them can be seen around The Hague and Delft, but this one is unique, it has the exact height of the Prince, so you can see how really short this man was.
Today’s art museum is the former residence of William of Orange and the place where he was shot by a religious fanatic, Balthazar Gerards. The bullet holes in the wall by the stairs are real proofs of the murder. Later the building served for many purposes but at the end of 19th century it became a museum where you can learn about the history of Delft.
Sun and holidays 1pm-5pm
Admissions: 5 Euro for adults
The prinsenhof was orginally part of a convent that was founded around 1400. In 1572 the buildings of the convent were expropriated by the city councel though the nuns could remain there. The last nun died at the Prinsenhof in 1640.
In 1572 William of Orange choose the Prinsenhof as his residence. He was the leader of the opposition against the spanish King Philip II in the 16th century. When William of Orange (or William the Silent) was later proclaimed an outlaw he went to Delft since he thought he could defend himself there better. Here he was assassinated 1584.
In 1887 the municipal museum opened its doors here. Now it is a mix of paintings, objects, special exhibitions and of course the fascinating building itself.. Which i personally liked the most..
the museum is open on tuesdays-saturdays from 10.00 till 17.00. On sundays and holidays the museum is open from 13.00 till 17.00
The museum is closed on the 25th of december and january the first.
Admission 5 euro for adults. Children under 12 go in for free