[NAIROBI] Visiting the Delft city could be one of the most interesting things to do while in The Royal Netherlands. Alighting from the tram one finds that Delft is a labyrinth combining historical beauty and modernity, setting the town as one of the most thrilling places with compelling eye-catching scenes and amazing architectural works in a country renowned for traditional blue colour mark.
And for visitors like me, this is a city with something for everyone, all year round. It offers something for culture lover, the fun shopper, the historian, the scientist, the gourmand, and the sporty.
It has museums, monuments and churches which forms part of its tradition and culture, excellent shopping and dining outlets and exciting backdrop of events. With more than six hundred national monuments, the city is truly one huge monument. According to Delft Tourist Information Point, the sixty bridges, the merchants’ houses, the mansions and gable houses along the canals, the old shop fronts, the churches and the almshouses are shining illustrations of the Dutch architecture.
The many historic buildings are used in daily life by the town dwellers and can, therefore, be admired from outside. But many of the monumental buildings house museums with exciting content and offering an ideal way of enjoying the riches of this city.
One such is the Museum Paul Tetar van Elven which is a former residence of the painter and collector, Paul Tetar van Elven [1823-1896], with the period of rooms from 17th, 18th and 19th century.
From the Technology of Museum Delft, one can meet past and present technology and the people behind it. The Vermeercentrum takes you to a fascinating voyage of discovery through life and work of the famous 17th century Dutch painter, Johaness Vermeer.
The monuments include Maag, which is a city weighing house from 1644, the Vleeshal, a front gable with sculptured cow and sheep heads. Those who get fascinated with artillery hardware will enjoy the Armamentarium which is a former artillery house warehouse of the state of Holland and West-Friesland.
Where shopping is a joy.
Shopping in Delft city is a joy. The city center is divided into a number attractive, mostly car free, shopping areas, often with underground car park within walking distances. The old historic city center with numerous small shops gives delft a special touch.
|Shopping for Delft blue ceramics|
Most shops in the old city center are located in historical buildings and teeming with beautiful gables and appropriate ornamental stones dating back to hundreds of years. Around the market [Oude Delft, Choorstraat, Voldeersgratch, Wijnhaven, Hipolytusbuurt, Vrouw Juttenland] there are many galleries, gift shops, exclusive fashion outlets, little shops with knickknacks, and cosy cafes to relax in after all that shopping excursions.
On nice days here—when the temperatures are not extremely cold—there is always an outdoor café to enjoy. Even more gratifying about this place is a walk along the canals and to browse in one of the unique shops. The neat alleys are a pleasure to walk along.
One could also savuour the richness of two modern shopping centers in the new city center; In de Veste and Zuidpoort. Here congenial shop streets like Branbanste, Turfmark with their wide range of clothing boutiques, cheese and wine shops and speciality shops are a natural transition to modern shopping centers.
You can dine well here and you can tell by the number of restaurants in the city center how the people of Delft enjoy their food and drink, but more importantly by the quality of the outlets. Everywhere you find a multitude of restaurants, atmospheric grand cafes and romantic eateries where one can enjoy dishes from all parts of the world on a 24 hour basis. Whether it is Greek, Turkish, Indonesian, Surinam, Thais, Japanese, Italian, Spanish, French, African or Mexican tastes, they are all there. And not forgetting traditional Dutch dishes. The many outdoor cafes found in the old city makes it a really attractive and fun to roam around.
Recreation in Green Spaces
Green Oasis-Delftse Houts, just a short distance from the city center, is one such space that offers an extensive wooded area with active and passive leisure for the young and old. Walking, cycling, rowing, pedalos, windsurfing, swimming, Delft has it all. There is a water playground, a city farm, a running track, a deer park and an arboretum to make your visit a maximum fun. And restaurants are never far away from which ever part of this green oasis you are in.
A number of Delft tourist attractions are great fun for kids; talk of a canal trip, the horsetram, or the Delft blue train. And you can’t afford to miss Reptile zoo Serpo. Several museums often organise children’s activities. You can not miss something sporty, something on the water, a playground or a children’s paradise that thrill them to the fullest.
The city center which is largely pedestrianised is accessible by car, train, tram, bus and bicycles. Research has also demonstrated that Delft is the most popular Dutch city for walking. There are several themed walks-on your own, in groups, guided or combined with a trip on the Delft canals.
Discover the old and churches in Delft
The Helige Greeskerkof is one of the finest places within the city center. It houses Delfts most ancient church dating back to 1246. The Oude Kerk [Old church] is an exciting site with its charismatic leaning towers. It has a splendid interior that includes beautifully crafted pulpit dating back to 1548 and 27 very special stained-glass windows.
There is also the Nieuwe Kerk [New Church] which dates back to 1496 and is located in the market.
|Delft: View of Old Church leaning tower|
|A magnificent interior of a hotel|