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The tomb of William of Orange
It is very hard to miss this tomb if you enter the new church. Walk up to it and look at it at your leisure . There are many details and figures sculpured in and on the tomb. But it has also some macabre details such as the skulls you can find on the top of the tomb on a few corners..
In the church is the ornate mausoleum of William of Orange. It was designed in 1614 by Hendrick de Keyser. In the middle of the mausoleum is the statue of William in battledress. Not far from him is his dog which died a few days after his master. The tombs of the Dutch Royal family are in the crypt.
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The graves of our kings and queens
Inside the church many Dutch pelgrims visit the tomb of our father of the fatherland: Willem van Oranje (William of Orange). His grave monument is of stunning beauty and commemorates the man that made the Dutch aware of their difference towards other European people and the fact that the country should be independant from Habsburgian rule from Spain. Eventualy, after 80 years of struggle and war, the Republic of the Seven Provinces, became the basis of "the modern "Kingdom of the Netherlands". In front of the monumental grave of the first Dutch Prince of Orange, a heavy large stone marks the spot where the entrance to the royal tombs is situated. Sadly the last few years we have seen it opened many times, when former queen Juliana, her husband Bernard and the husband of present queen Beatrix all had be be burried.
Accidentily the New church became connected to the house of Orange as when William was murdered, the family tombs in Breda, could not be reached ! The town had fallen into Spanish hands and therefore he was burried in Delft, where he also lived in the Prin'senhof (Prince's Court). Since then all members of the Royal family find here their last resting place.
King Willem I
Born in 1533, Willem of the House of Orange started a dynasty (after marrying Jan de Oude from the House of Nassau) whose descendants are still alive today. This particular Willem is actually King Willem 1772 - 1843, the first to use that title, as distinct from prince.
There have been 8 Willems so far and a Wilhelmina so don't be surprised if you get a little confused.
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