On the morning of the 20th, we left the hotel just before nine for a quick tour of the town, starting at the Markt (Market Square), which actually had a sizable market laid out across the square selling anything from meats to cheeses, fish to bread, clothing to spices. The Markt is framed by the 14th century New Church on one end, the 15th century town hall at the other, and a statue of Hugo Grotius in the center.
The spire of the New Church, framed in beauty.
Veggies and Fruit in the Market
Candies at the market.
Hugo Grotius, Christian Apologist and developer of the Governmental Theory of the Atonement, who also was the first to establish international rules of the sea, putting forth the idea that the oceans were open to every nation.
The New Church is a giant Gothic church which serves, among other things, to hold the tombs of Dutch royalty, including the beloved William I of Orange, the main leader of the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs. The church has endured much: A fire devastated it in 1536 when it was struck by lightning, the iconoclasts ransacked it in the 1560s, and the windows were blown out by a nearby gunpowder depot explosion in 1654.
Looking across Market Square at the New Church
Interior of the New Church
The grand tomb of William of Orange which dominates the front of the church.
View down the nave toward the back of the church with the massive organ in view. The slab of stone in the foreground marks the entrance to an underground labyrinth in which descendants of the royal family are buried. Or, as Rick Steven says, it contains crates of Oranges! 🙂
The apse of the New Church
From there we walked up the Oulde Canal to the Old Church (both churches, by the way, are now not Catholic, but Dutch Reformed). The sober interior reflects the iconoclastic riots of 1566 and 1572. Two locals have found their tombs within this church: The inventor of the microscope, Anton van Leeuwenhoek, and the famous local artist, Johannes Vermeer.
Above this Subway sandwich shop, a Bible on the corner of the building marks this as the spot of the first printed Dutch bible (1477).
We walked through town in a light rain this morning. Cindy stops at a memorial to Anton van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) who invented the microscope and used it to discover bacteria.
There are three of these blue and white lampposts in a courtyard which were made in Delft’s Chinese sister city and gifted to this town as a reminder of the 400-year relationship between porcelain making in China and Delft.
Interior of the Old Church
The remains of Vermeer are here, marked by this slab in the floor of the Old Church
Later in the morning, we hopped in our rental car for the short eight mile ride to The Hague, the seat of government for the Netherlands since 1588. The attraction which drew us to the city was the Mauritshuis Museum, a small museum packed full of Dutch Golden Age art, including such masterpieces as Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, and Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. A visit to this museum has been on my wish list for awhile.
In The Hague, we see tributes to the 20th century Dutch artist Piet Mondriaan everywhere. His family lived in The Hague.
Another nod to Mondriaan.
The exterior of the Mauritshuis Museum.
Pieter Claesz, a Haarlem still-life painter known for his Vanitas works.
The Garden of Eden, a collaboration by Jan Brueghel the Elder and Rubens (who painted Adam and Eve).
Rubens’ Old Woman and a Boy with Candles (1616-17). She passes the light to the boy.
Rubens’ great The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. Reminds me of Gross Anatomy.
A (young) Rembrandt self-portrait.
Detail of a Rembrandt depiction of Simeon rejoicing at the Christ Child
An (older) Rembrandt self-portrait.
A monumental painting called The Bull. It was pretty massive, and revolutionary in its time… to paint a farm animal on such a grand scale.
One of the Dutch morality paintings illustrating the Proverb, As the Elders Pipe, the Children Sing. (The adults are setting a bad example for the children, which will be surely followed.)
Vermeer’s masterpiece, The Girl with a Pearl Earring (We’ve now been privileged to see this twice. The first time in Atlanta a few years ago, when it was on loan from the Mauritshuis.)
A majestic Vermeer landscape, View of Delft.
Jan Steen depicting the physician diagnosing the ills of this young lady by examining her urine.
Cindy standing in the Mauritshuis.
We drove back to Delft to relax in our air-conditioned room (the first on this trip) before having dinner at the lovely Spijshuis de Dis. We both had hearty Flemish meals: Cindy enjoyed the braised beef while I had the tasty leg of Rabbit (tastes like chicken!).
Our room in Delft, with a canal view.
My sweetheart in Delft.
On the way to dinner.
I’m still not tired of these beautiful canal views.
Our restaurant for the evening, Spijshuis de Dis.
Interior of our dinner spot.