Main Births etc
—  Municipality  —
Delft City.jpg
Flag of Delft.svg
Coat of arms of Delft.svg
Coat of arms
Coordinates: 52°0′54″N 4°21′24″E / 52.015, 4.35667Coordinates: 52°0′54″N 4°21′24″E / 52.015, 4.35667
Country Netherlands
Province South Holland
 • Total 24.08 km2 (9.30 sq mi)
 • Land 23.21 km2 (8.96 sq mi)
 • Water 0.87 km2 (0.34 sq mi)
Population (1 January 2008)
 • Total 96,168
 • Density 4,180/km2 (10,800/sq mi)
  Source: CBS, Statline.
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Delft (Dutch pronunciation: [dɛɫft], Loudspeaker pronunciation ) is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland (Zuid-Holland), in the Netherlands. Delft is located between the larger cities of Rotterdam and The Hague. Delft is primarily known for its historic town centre with canals; also for the painter Vermeer, Delft Blue pottery (Delftware), the Delft University of Technology, and its association with the Dutch royal family, the House of Orange-Nassau.


From a rural village in the early Middle Ages Delft developed to a city, that in the 13th century (1246) received its charter.
(For some more information about the early development, see the article "Gracht", section "Delft as an example").

The town's association with the House of Orange started when William of Orange (Willem van Oranje), nicknamed William the Silent (Willem de Zwijger), took up residence in 1572 At the time he was the leader of growing national Dutch resistance against Spanish occupation of the country, which struggle is known as the Eighty Years' War. By then Delft was one of the leading cities of Holland and it was equipped with the necessary city walls to serve as a headquarters.

After the Act of Abjuration was proclaimed in 1581 Delft became the de facto capital of the newly independent Netherlands, as the seat of the Prince of Orange.

When William was shot dead in 1584, by Balthazar Gerards in the hall of the Prinsenhof, the family's traditional burial place in Breda was still in the hands of the Spanish. Therefore, he was buried in the Delft Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), starting a tradition for the House of Orange that has continued to the present day.

Blaeu 1652 - Delft

Delft in 1652 (Blaeu)


Egbert van der Poel: A View of Delft after the Explosion of 1654

Jan Vermeer van Delft 001

View of Delft by Johannes Vermeer, 1660–1661

Cornelis Springer, The Gemeenlandshuis and the Old Church, Delft, Summer (1877)

The Gemeenlandshuis and the Old Church in (1877) by Cornelis Springer,

Delft ExplosionEdit

The Delft Explosion, also known in history as the Delft Thunderclap, occurred on 12 October 1654 when a gunpowder store exploded, destroying much of the city. Over a hundred people were killed and thousands wounded.

About 30 tonnes (66,138 pounds) of gunpowder were stored in barrels in a magazine in a former Clarissen convent in the Doelenkwartier district. Cornelis Soetens, the keeper of the magazine, opened the store to check a sample of the powder and a huge explosion followed. Luckily, many citizens were away, visiting a market in Schiedam or a fair in The Hague. Artist Carel Fabritius was wounded in the explosion and died of his injuries. Later on, Egbert van der Poel painted several pictures of Delft showing the devastation. The Delft Explosion is the principal reason why Delft University of Technology maintains explosion science as a key topic within its research portfolio and graduate skill-set.


The city center retains a large number of monumental buildings, whereas in many streets there are canals of which the borders are connected by typical bridges,[1] altogether making this city a notable tourist destination.[2]

Historical buildings and other sights of interest include:

Delft centre

City sight ("Vrouw Juttenland")


Nieuwe Kerk (New Church)

Delft stadhuis

Delft City Hall

Delft poorte

The Eastern Gate ("Oostpoort")


Delft is well known for the Delft pottery ceramic products[2] which were styled on the imported Chinese porcelain of the 17th century. The city had an early start in this area since it was a home port of the Dutch East India Company.

The painter Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) was born in Delft. Vermeer used Delft streets and home interiors as the subject or background of his paintings.[2] Several other famous painters lived and worked in Delft at that time, such as Pieter de Hoogh, Carel Fabritius, Nicolaes Maes, Gerard Houckgeest and Hendrick Cornelisz. van Vliet. They all were members of the Delft School. The Delft School is known for its images of domestic life, views of households, church interiors, courtyards, squares and the streets of Delft. The painters also produced pictures showing historic events, flower paintings, portraits for patrons and the court, and decorative pieces of art.


TU Delft buildings

TU Delft buildings

Delftechpark 003

Site at business park "Delftechpark"

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is one of three universities of technology in the Netherlands. It was founded as an academy for civil engineering in 1842 by King William II. Today well over 16,000 students are enrolled.

The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, providing postgraduate education for people from developing countries, draws on the strong tradition in water management and hydraulic engineering of the Delft university.


In the local economic field essential elements are:

Nature and recreationEdit

East of Delft a relatively vast nature and recreation area called the "Delftse Hout" ("Delft Wood")[3] is situated. Apart from a forest, through which bike-, horseride- and footpaths are leading, it also comprises a vast lake (suitable for swimming and windsurfing), narrow beaches (including a nudist area), a restaurant, community gardens, plus campground and other recreational and sports facilities. (There is a possibility to rent bikes at the station).

Inside the city apart from a central park there are also several smaller town parks, like "Nieuwe Plantage", "Agnetapark", "Kalverbos" and others. Furthermore there's a Botanical Garden of the TU and an arboretum in Delftse Hout.

Blossoms 4

Springtime in Delft

Delft lake in febr.

The Delftse Hout lake

Delft park

Site at Delft City park

Nootdorpse Plassen

"Nootdorpse Plassen", (partly) a Delft nature area

Delft Plantagegeer

"Plantagegeer", one of Delft several smaller city parks

Notable peopleEdit

Delft was the birthplace of among others these famous persons:

Before 1900

After 1900

Otherwise related


  • Nuna, (a series of manned solar powered vehicles, built by students at the Delft University of Technology, that won the World solar challenge in Australia four times in a row, in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2007).
  • Superbus, (the Superbus project aims to develop high speed coaches capable of speeds of up to 250 kilometres per hour (160 mph) together with the supporting infrastructure including special highway lanes constructed separately next to the nation's highways; this project is led by Dutch astronaut professor Wubbo Ockels of the Delft University of Technology).

International relationsEdit


Topographic map image of Delft, 2011

Twin towns — Sister citiesEdit

Delft is twinned with:[4]


Trains stopping at these stations connect Delft with among others nearby cities of Rotterdam and The Hague, with a frequency of no more than every five minutes, during a big part of the day.

Apart from that especcially to and from The Hague several bus lines relatively frequently realise the same connection.

Nevertheless apart from that from the early morning to the late night, (until about two years ago one and since then two) tram lines frequently come and go all the way from and to The Hague via special double tracks crossing the city of Delft all the way.

One of those two lines is still under construction inside Delft and is meant to connect The Hague with a not yet existing science park, to be realised on the southern (Rotterdam) side of Delft and being a coöperational project of the Delft and the Rotterdam municipality.

Neighbouring municipalities Edit

4 km
The Hague
9 km
6 km
8 km
Compass rose simple Pijnacker-Nootdorp
6 km
8 km
15 km
14 km

See also Edit


External linksEdit

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Further readingEdit

Published in the 19th century
Published in the 20th century
Published in the 21st century
  • Vermeer: A View of Delft, Anthony Bailey, Henry Holt & Company, 2001, ISBN 0-8050-6718-3

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Delft. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.