More than a Vermeer of Blue
Delft – a city of blue, of orange, of light. All artistically represented in this charming and historic town. Just an hour from Amsterdam and less than 15 minutes from The Hague or Rotterdam, Delft is the ideal day trip for those holding a Eurail Benelux Pass. Delft has two train stations, one in the city center and Delft Zuid, about a 20-minute walk from downtown.
A home port of the Dutch East India Company, the town quickly developed in the Dutch Golden Age. This period spanned the 17 th century, when the Dutch became the most acclaimed society in the world thanks to their prowess in trade, science and art.
You can still see this prowess on parade at the Delft Blue Porcelain Factory. This is the last remaining Delftware factory from the 17 th century where the distinctive blue and white earthenware is still produced by skilled craftspeople. The building houses a museum, a factory, a garden and café where you can enjoy high tea served in original Delft cups and saucers. You can view the traditional production process plus paint your own Delft tile under the guidance of a master painter.
While wandering the streets and canals of Delft, you may be struck by the soft light and the interplay of color. Local artist Johannes Vermeer certainly was, and his city provided plenty of inspiration for the few canvases he created during his lifetime. The artist worked slowly and with great care, using bright hues and expensive pigments. Vermeer died leaving his family in debt, and didn't enjoy success until the French art critic Theophile Thoré-Bürger rediscovered the work, beginning with Vermeer's "View of Delft."
The Vermeer Centre offers a visual voyage of discovery through the artist's life, work and city. Step into 17th century Delft, see samples from Vermeer's oeuvre and learn the stories behind the paintings. In the studio, see how Vermeer approached his work and how he mastered the light, composition and color in his work. The museum is housed on the historic site of the former St. Lucas Guild, where Vermeer was the painting Dean for many years.
More than art history comes alive in Delft. You can learn much of the The Netherlands' past and Prince William van Oranje, the father of the nation, by visiting the Prinsenhof, one of the royal residences. His resting place is in an unusual and impressive mausoleum at the Nieuwe Kerk where every member of the Royal Orange-Nassau family is buried since King Willem I.
Take a tour by foot or by canal, soaking in the colorful atmosphere that's inspired artists, princes and travelers. This is the charming side of Holland. Add a Delft touch to your itinerary. The town is a real Dutch treat.
Contributed by: Renate, our Dutch employee who has worked in various departments of the company and traveled on many trains in Europe, especially through the BeNeLux countries.