Delft City Walk – in the Historic Center

 

United East India office (VOC) in Delft, on Oude Delft Canal opposite Armamentarium

Join me for a private guided walking tour in the historic center of Delft. Themes include Vermeer & the Seventeenth-Century world of art, artisans and commerce. Rich in subjects: History, Art History and Architecture.

Delft is situated near The Hague in the province of South Holland.  Within Delft, our educational day trip, was the seat of the revolutionary Dutch government. In Delft the Protestant leader William of Orange led the political insurrection against the then lawful ruler, the Roman Catholic King of Spain. One of the core issues on which The Netherlands was founded was freedom of religion and conscience. The right to worship in one’s own way.

William of Orange, considered Father of the Fatherland.

A walk through Delft will include the cloister building in which William of Orange lived, worked and where he was finally murdered; he is considered the Father of the Fatherland. Delft is now almost an open air museum for a number of historical reasons; many monuments and places are open to the public during our visit!

On Market square we also find the Town Hall. Most of the daytime the front room of the Town Hall (above) is open to visitors. Inside you will see the wall maps and the tiled floor which made Delft famous in paintings. The Town Hall of Delft is an edifice combining many public functions.

The grand New Church with its imposing spire is important as the church contains William of Orange’s grave monument.

Grave Monument for William of Orange in the New Church.

The beautifully situated Old Delft canal is the site of the Oude Kerk (Old Church), another major Delft church. It is also the location of the grave marker of Johannes Vermeer, the most famous painter of the Delft school. In walking these wonderful old canals we will also see the local headquarters of the United East India Company (VOC) as well as many of the houses of merchants who grew rich from their international trade with the North, South, East and Far East. We will also discuss local wealth from breweries and the many Delftware workshops producing Delft Blue. A visit to a real Delft Blue workshop may be part of the itinerary.

To the left is the grave monument in New Church. One entrance ticket covers both churches.

In one hidden town square we also find a paint store, which still looks like a store from the days of Charles Dickens. We will also see the house where Johannes Vermeer was born, and a little further on we see the memorial plaque at the site of the house where Vermeer produced his incomparable paintings. This is the historic Vermeer marker I personally created many years ago. A visit to the newly built Vermeer center (in the former Guild Hall) gives an overview of Vermeer’s life may finally conclude our Delft walking tour.

 

Drs Kaldenbach has created one of the most detailed web sites (+2000 items) about Delft and Vermeer. He is considered a foremost specialist on the subject. Tour by professional Art History scholar with excellent teaching skills. Specialist in Fine art and Design, Architecture and History. VIP entry.

Drs Kees Kaldenbach: „…he is wildly overqualified to be a guide . That is his secret… Trust me on this.” Gabe. Statement made February, 2017.

The reconstruction rendering of the Vermeer House, by restoration architect Zantkuijl. This drawing is also reproduced on the Historic Marker by ANWB, attached to the Maria van Jesse Church.

Gemeenlandshuis, Water Board, responsible for water levels in a wide area.

Leaning tower of the Old Church.

A restored house. Is this an example of over-restoration or not? We will discuss it.

Vermeer, View of Delft. The author published important information on what is actually seen in this Cityscape

 

Larger images are available on this old school site.

Business card. The logo refers to Vermeer.

HOW TO GET THERE

Delft is easy to reach with public transport, by train. I hold a Dutch Railways rebate card. For this train tour I can offer you a special rebate of 40% for three separate adult railway tickets. This makes it economical for you as clients. I can join you from your hotel or from the Amsterdam train station. Various other options are open to you: a) You can hire a car and drive it yourself, and I will join you starting in Amsterdam and will advise you about the best route. b) We can hire a professional taxibus service at around E 70 per hour for about 4 to 5 hours. On top of that you will pay me as the specialist guide. This is the more expensive option.

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An ideal combination is seeing the Vermeer paintings in the Mauritshuis, The Hague on the same day. By train. Starting at 10.30 AM in the Mauritshuis. Tour duration in Delft: 2 to 3 hours.

 

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Kees Kaldenbach with Andew Graham-Dixon by the Rijksmuseum.

On TV:

BBC television: The madness of Vermeer – Secret lives of the artists. Interviewer Andrew Graham -Dixon. Now on Youtube. At the exact time of 35 minutes, 39 seconds the interviewer interviewer Andrew Graham-Dixon parks his bike and enters my home… what you do not see in the footage is the rest of the crew: lights, sound, cameraman, continuity, the director… and the item was surprisingly filmed at my home in one take. Thanks to Andrew’s quality of asking the right questions at the right moment. Beforehand I had to clean up my desk, though. To the right my daughter Suzanne.

 

 

Paint supply shop, still in full service. The floor is drenched in oil.

Dated Delftsblue items. Rijksmuseum.

Aerial photograph, 1923, Authors collection.

Old church, leaning tower.

Garden of Prinsenhof, with statue of William of Orange.

An incredible map of Delft, one of the first birds eye views. Created as a gift (in sheets) from the city to important visitors.

Entrance to Prinsenhof museum, Delft

United East Incia office (VOC) in Delft, on Oude Delft Canal opposite Armamentarium

Vermeer, View of Delft. The author published important information on what is actually seen in this Cityscape

Author Kaldenbach lecturing in front of Vermeer

Market square with Town hall.

Market square with New Church

Painting being un-crated in the open air. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC, had a heart attack.

The official Historic Marker installed by author Kaldenbach

The author Kaldenbach proudly in font of the Vermeer House Historic Marker