A Travellerspoint blog

October 2018

Amsterdam's Royal Palace is a glimpse into Dutch Golden Age

The Royal Palace was originally built to serve as Amsterdam City Hall in 1655 when the city was the most prosperous in the world; the building became a Royal Palace when Napoleon installed his brother as king in 1806

The Royal Palace was originally built to serve as Amsterdam City Hall in 1655 when the city was the most prosperous in the world; the building became a Royal Palace when Napoleon installed his brother as king in 1806

The vast Citizen's Hall is 120 feet by 90 feet by 60 feet; the hall is used for hosting foreign dignitaries and royal family wedding receptions

The vast Citizen's Hall is 120 feet by 90 feet by 60 feet; the hall is used for hosting foreign dignitaries and royal family wedding receptions

After Napoleon's fall, the palace continued  as a royal residence for the Dutch Royal Family, the House of Orange; today, it's one of King Willem-Alexander's official residences

After Napoleon's fall, the palace continued as a royal residence for the Dutch Royal Family, the House of Orange; today, it's one of King Willem-Alexander's official residences

Only 20 rooms in the Royal Palace on the first floor are open to public viewing; the entire palace is 22000 square meters

Only 20 rooms in the Royal Palace on the first floor are open to public viewing; the entire palace is 22000 square meters

In 1808, King Louis Bonaparte first transformed the building into a palace;  his magnificent Empire furniture—one of the most beautiful collections in the world—is still used during royal receptions

In 1808, King Louis Bonaparte first transformed the building into a palace; his magnificent Empire furniture—one of the most beautiful collections in the world—is still used during royal receptions

This is the only palace in the country that is both in active use and available for the public to visit;  the public can only visit when the palace is not in use by the Dutch Royal Family.

This is the only palace in the country that is both in active use and available for the public to visit; the public can only visit when the palace is not in use by the Dutch Royal Family.

When the building was completed it was proclaimed to be the largest administrative building in Europe; staying in Haarlem still made it easy to visit Amsterdam

When the building was completed it was proclaimed to be the largest administrative building in Europe; staying in Haarlem still made it easy to visit Amsterdam

The Treasury Extraordinary Room was originally the place where bureaucrats administered the city budget; most recently, this was the childhood bedroom for Queen Beatrix

The Treasury Extraordinary Room was originally the place where bureaucrats administered the city budget; most recently, this was the childhood bedroom for Queen Beatrix

Former Burgomasters Council Chamber; the paintings in this room, and much of the palace, were done by pupils of Rembrandt

Former Burgomasters Council Chamber; the paintings in this room, and much of the palace, were done by pupils of Rembrandt

Personal bankruptcies were handled in the city hall and one of those processed here was Rembrandt's; a relief with a panic-stricken Icarus is on the wall reminding people not to taken dangerous risks

Personal bankruptcies were handled in the city hall and one of those processed here was Rembrandt's; a relief with a panic-stricken Icarus is on the wall reminding people not to taken dangerous risks

Dam Square, in front of the Royal Palace, is being cleaned after Gay Pride Week wrapped up the day before; tons of trash was quickly getting removed around town

Dam Square, in front of the Royal Palace, is being cleaned after Gay Pride Week wrapped up the day before; tons of trash was quickly getting removed around town

Every year on May 4, the commemoration of Remembrance Day is held on Dam Square; Dutch victims of war are commemorated with a two minute silence shared on television looking at Dam Square over the shoulders of Peace

Every year on May 4, the commemoration of Remembrance Day is held on Dam Square; Dutch victims of war are commemorated with a two minute silence shared on television looking at Dam Square over the shoulders of Peace

King Louis made the insurance chamber his bedroom; he did not get along well with his wife so her bedroom was diagonally across the palace , as far away as possible

King Louis made the insurance chamber his bedroom; he did not get along well with his wife so her bedroom was diagonally across the palace , as far away as possible

The palace was built with a sandstone that originally had a white appearance with a slight yellowish gleam; unfortunately, while the stone is strong enough, it is very susceptible to weathering, which accounts for the current grey/brown appearance

The palace was built with a sandstone that originally had a white appearance with a slight yellowish gleam; unfortunately, while the stone is strong enough, it is very susceptible to weathering, which accounts for the current grey/brown appearance

Before the Astrodome was built, the poet Constantijn Huygens hyped the Royal Palace as the world’s eighth wonder, a monument to the cockiness Amsterdam felt at the dawn of its Golden Age

Before the Astrodome was built, the poet Constantijn Huygens hyped the Royal Palace as the world’s eighth wonder, a monument to the cockiness Amsterdam felt at the dawn of its Golden Age

Building of the Town Hall began in 1648 directly following the 80 Years War between the Dutch and the Spanish; citizens of Amsterdam topped the Town Hall’s façade with Peace, presented as a woman holding an olive branch and a staff of Mercury in her hands

Building of the Town Hall began in 1648 directly following the 80 Years War between the Dutch and the Spanish; citizens of Amsterdam topped the Town Hall’s façade with Peace, presented as a woman holding an olive branch and a staff of Mercury in her hands

This frieze is in the room where the death penalty was doled out; the audioguide was included in admission price and provided lots of history and context

This frieze is in the room where the death penalty was doled out; the audioguide was included in admission price and provided lots of history and context

Posted by VagabondCowboy 04:45 Comments (0)

Leiden-pleasant Dutch city but no impressive sights

Rembrandt lived on this square where he spent his formative years before leaving for Amsterdam at the age of 17; the city really plays up the Rembrandt story

Rembrandt lived on this square where he spent his formative years before leaving for Amsterdam at the age of 17; the city really plays up the Rembrandt story

The historical heart of the city has 28 kms of canals; Leiden is second only to Amsterdam in the amount of water flowing through its city center

The historical heart of the city has 28 kms of canals; Leiden is second only to Amsterdam in the amount of water flowing through its city center

The burcht provides a 360 degree view of Leiden although the trees tend to get in the way; the gray stone forming the burcht was taken from the original city wall

The burcht provides a 360 degree view of Leiden although the trees tend to get in the way; the gray stone forming the burcht was taken from the original city wall

Leiden was famous during the Golden Age for its top quality textiles; like many Dutch towns, Leiden is surrounded by a canal/moat that was built in the late 16th and early 17th centuries

Leiden was famous during the Golden Age for its top quality textiles; like many Dutch towns, Leiden is surrounded by a canal/moat that was built in the late 16th and early 17th centuries

Rick Steves loves the American Pilgrim Museum which is housed in the oldest house in town; their hours are short and it's more of a Q and A with the owner as guests look at memorabilia

Rick Steves loves the American Pilgrim Museum which is housed in the oldest house in town; their hours are short and it's more of a Q and A with the owner as guests look at memorabilia

Modern buildings gathered around the train station with a bicycle garage creatively hidden under the bridge; there of tons of bike stores with most offering rentals

Modern buildings gathered around the train station with a bicycle garage creatively hidden under the bridge; there of tons of bike stores with most offering rentals

The Old and New Rhine Rivers come together right behind me in the center of town; many important scientific discoveries have been made here, giving rise to Leiden’s motto: City of Discoveries

The Old and New Rhine Rivers come together right behind me in the center of town; many important scientific discoveries have been made here, giving rise to Leiden’s motto: City of Discoveries

The Neoclassical Waag building dates from the 17th century and used to be a customs house where merchants would weigh their goods and then pay tax on it

The Neoclassical Waag building dates from the 17th century and used to be a customs house where merchants would weigh their goods and then pay tax on it

This platform windmill is also a museum; it is located where the town wall used to be with many windmills being placed atop the wall to better catch the wind

This platform windmill is also a museum; it is located where the town wall used to be with many windmills being placed atop the wall to better catch the wind

This 17th century Lutheran church fits the mold of typical Dutch churches which are relatively narrow but with high walls creating an impressive interior space

This 17th century Lutheran church fits the mold of typical Dutch churches which are relatively narrow but with high walls creating an impressive interior space

This hill was built in the 8th or 9th century with a castle being constructed on it in 1150; during times of siege residents would come to this hill, the burcht, where they had increased defensive capabilities

This hill was built in the 8th or 9th century with a castle being constructed on it in 1150; during times of siege residents would come to this hill, the burcht, where they had increased defensive capabilities

I was following Rick Steves walking tour and he warns readers to be careful crossing this busy street; maybe I got started a little early on Sunday morning for the locals

I was following Rick Steves walking tour and he warns readers to be careful crossing this busy street; maybe I got started a little early on Sunday morning for the locals

The fancy building in the center of the photo was Rembrandt's Latin school; the Dutch constitution was written at a house in Leiden in April 1848

The fancy building in the center of the photo was Rembrandt's Latin school; the Dutch constitution was written at a house in Leiden in April 1848

On January 12, 1807, a catastrophe struck Leiden when a boat loaded with 17,400 kilograms of gunpowder blew up in the middle of the city; 151 persons were killed, over 2,000 were injured and some 220 homes were destroyed

On January 12, 1807, a catastrophe struck Leiden when a boat loaded with 17,400 kilograms of gunpowder blew up in the middle of the city; 151 persons were killed, over 2,000 were injured and some 220 homes were destroyed

Leiden University is one of Europe’s top universities, with thirteen Nobel Prize winners; it is twinned with Oxford, the location of the United Kingdom's oldest university

Leiden University is one of Europe’s top universities, with thirteen Nobel Prize winners; it is twinned with Oxford, the location of the United Kingdom's oldest university

A large community of Pilgrims settled in Leiden before heading for America in 1620; many Americans, including George and Barbara, can trace their ancestors back to the Leiden Pilgrims

A large community of Pilgrims settled in Leiden before heading for America in 1620; many Americans, including George and Barbara, can trace their ancestors back to the Leiden Pilgrims

The Pilgrims prayed at St. Peter's Church (1315); the pastor of the Pilgrims, John Robinson, is buried inside

The Pilgrims prayed at St. Peter's Church (1315); the pastor of the Pilgrims, John Robinson, is buried inside

This is the 17th century prison/ court of justice although parts of the building date from the 12th century; Leiden is the headquarters of Airbus which is the leading European aerospace and defense company

This is the 17th century prison/ court of justice although parts of the building date from the 12th century; Leiden is the headquarters of Airbus which is the leading European aerospace and defense company

This type of building was funded by wealthy donors to house poor people in exchange for a better position within the church; typically, the layout is 12 small houses around a courtyard

This type of building was funded by wealthy donors to house poor people in exchange for a better position within the church; typically, the layout is 12 small houses around a courtyard

Not much of the Doelenpoort Gate remains; Einstein taught at Leiden University for much of the period 1916 to 1930

Not much of the Doelenpoort Gate remains; Einstein taught at Leiden University for much of the period 1916 to 1930

The Old Court of Justice; Leiden has 124,000 people and is 12 miles north of The Hague and 25 miles south of Amsterdam

The Old Court of Justice; Leiden has 124,000 people and is 12 miles north of The Hague and 25 miles south of Amsterdam

St. Peters built houses around it that were then rented out to provide income for the church; the church had a tower built in 1290 but it collapsed in 1512 and never replaced

St. Peters built houses around it that were then rented out to provide income for the church; the church had a tower built in 1290 but it collapsed in 1512 and never replaced

The Carpenters House, built in 1612, is now a subsidized home for seniors; there is no elevator so hopefully the youngest gets the attic room

The Carpenters House, built in 1612, is now a subsidized home for seniors; there is no elevator so hopefully the youngest gets the attic room

Like many European cities, Leiden has a huge, new train station as mass transit gains in popularity; you need a debit card to buy train tickets, not credit cards

Like many European cities, Leiden has a huge, new train station as mass transit gains in popularity; you need a debit card to buy train tickets, not credit cards

The entire structure rotates at its base with this type of windmill, called a post mill; Leiden is considered the Oxford of Hollard with its 20,000 university students

The entire structure rotates at its base with this type of windmill, called a post mill; Leiden is considered the Oxford of Hollard with its 20,000 university students

The Morspoort Gate was the entrance to Leiden from the west; completed in 1611, it is one of two old city gates still surviving

The Morspoort Gate was the entrance to Leiden from the west; completed in 1611, it is one of two old city gates still surviving

100  buildings in Leiden are decorated with large murals of poetry, part of a wall poem project active from 1992, and still ongoing; the poetry was in many different languages

100+ buildings in Leiden are decorated with large murals of poetry, part of a wall poem project active from 1992, and still ongoing; the poetry was in many different languages

Leiden has 3000  historic buildings which is third most in the Netherlands; it also has the most museums in the country

Leiden has 3000+ historic buildings which is third most in the Netherlands; it also has the most museums in the country

Posted by VagabondCowboy 21:20 Comments (0)

The mysterious ancient menhirs of Corsica

This archaeological site was discovered in 1946; Filitosa has about 20 menhirs which is half of all those known on Corsica

This archaeological site was discovered in 1946; Filitosa has about 20 menhirs which is half of all those known on Corsica

This is the central monument with menhirs uncovered during the dig lining the perimeter; I was more impressed with prehistoric sites on Sardinia and Menorca

This is the central monument with menhirs uncovered during the dig lining the perimeter; I was more impressed with prehistoric sites on Sardinia and Menorca

Early Neolithic people sheltered under these overhanging rocks; admission was 7 euros and the guide book was 4 euros

Early Neolithic people sheltered under these overhanging rocks; admission was 7 euros and the guide book was 4 euros

5 menhirs erected around 1500 BC surrounding a 2000 year old olive tree; the menhirs were moved from their original positions to create a better presentation

5 menhirs erected around 1500 BC surrounding a 2000 year old olive tree; the menhirs were moved from their original positions to create a better presentation

I thought this rock looked just like a giraffe; the forest-covered mountains were full of wild boar in ancient times

I thought this rock looked just like a giraffe; the forest-covered mountains were full of wild boar in ancient times

This is supposed to be the quarry but it looks more like a pile of rocks; they didn't have to do much carving to get large granite rocks for the menhirs

This is supposed to be the quarry but it looks more like a pile of rocks; they didn't have to do much carving to get large granite rocks for the menhirs

View from the quarry to the hill with the main monuments; Stonehenge is the most well-known example of menhirs

View from the quarry to the hill with the main monuments; Stonehenge is the most well-known example of menhirs

There are hundreds of menhirs still standing in their original locations at this remote location I read about online; it's down a dirt road and then a 20 minute hike through the brush

There are hundreds of menhirs still standing in their original locations at this remote location I read about online; it's down a dirt road and then a 20 minute hike through the brush

I thought the menhirs at Palaggiu were more impressive than the touristy Filitosa; these menhirs were discovered in 1899 and look to me much like a cemetery

I thought the menhirs at Palaggiu were more impressive than the touristy Filitosa; these menhirs were discovered in 1899 and look to me much like a cemetery

This diagram shows the original location of the menhirs; they were found not in groups like they are now displayed

This diagram shows the original location of the menhirs; they were found not in groups like they are now displayed

Metal age vase; it was unclear to me if the vase fragments came from this site or somewhere else

Metal age vase; it was unclear to me if the vase fragments came from this site or somewhere else

Cork has been harvested from this oak; to reach Filitosa from Ajaccio involved non-stop winding, rutted roads for an hour - I was ready to barf

Cork has been harvested from this oak; to reach Filitosa from Ajaccio involved non-stop winding, rutted roads for an hour - I was ready to barf

Some of the menhirs weigh more than 2.5 tons; no explanation was given on how the menhir got from the quarry to its carved location

Some of the menhirs weigh more than 2.5 tons; no explanation was given on how the menhir got from the quarry to its carved location

They are building a new museum set to open next year; maybe in the new facility they'll add English explanations

They are building a new museum set to open next year; maybe in the new facility they'll add English explanations

There are 1200 menhirs in northwest France (Brittany) but, in addition to western Europe, they've been discovered in Asia and Africa

There are 1200 menhirs in northwest France (Brittany) but, in addition to western Europe, they've been discovered in Asia and Africa

There were audio explanations at different points but most of them ended with a caveat like - that's one of the hypotheses; so much remains unknown about these people

There were audio explanations at different points but most of them ended with a caveat like - that's one of the hypotheses; so much remains unknown about these people

I wondered why the site, although classified as a historical monument, still belongs to the family who owned the land when the discovery was made

I wondered why the site, although classified as a historical monument, still belongs to the family who owned the land when the discovery was made

Corsica is the leading region in Europe for the quantity and quality of megalithic statue art; the purpose of the menhirs is still unknown

Corsica is the leading region in Europe for the quantity and quality of megalithic statue art; the purpose of the menhirs is still unknown

Posted by VagabondCowboy 14:08 Comments (0)

Masterpieces &favorites from Royal Picture Gallery-the Hague

Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665; called the Dutch Mona Lisa, the painting has gained notoriety recently as the subject of a popular book and movie

Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665; called the Dutch Mona Lisa, the painting has gained notoriety recently as the subject of a popular book and movie

The Mauritshuis is the most famous art museum in The Hague; most of the works featured are Dutch Golden Age paintings

The Mauritshuis is the most famous art museum in The Hague; most of the works featured are Dutch Golden Age paintings

Ambrosius Bosschaert I, Vase of Flowers in a Window, 1620; I just loved the incredible detail in this 500 year old painting

Ambrosius Bosschaert I, Vase of Flowers in a Window, 1620; I just loved the incredible detail in this 500 year old painting

Rembrandt, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632; this painting made Rembrandt a star in the Amsterdam art scene

Rembrandt, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632; this painting made Rembrandt a star in the Amsterdam art scene

Carel Fabritius, The Goldfinch, 1654; this painting was made famous as the subject of the great 2013 book by Donna Tartt

Carel Fabritius, The Goldfinch, 1654; this painting was made famous as the subject of the great 2013 book by Donna Tartt

Willem van Haecht, Apelles Painting Campaspe, c. 1630; this is one of the most ambitious and well-executed works I've ever seen

Willem van Haecht, Apelles Painting Campaspe, c. 1630; this is one of the most ambitious and well-executed works I've ever seen

Peter Paul Rubens, Old Woman and Boy, 1617; the Mauritshuis is expensive at 15.50 euros but you can buy a museum card that let's you visit 5 Dutch museums while skipping the lines at the popular ones in Amsterdam

Peter Paul Rubens, Old Woman and Boy, 1617; the Mauritshuis is expensive at 15.50 euros but you can buy a museum card that let's you visit 5 Dutch museums while skipping the lines at the popular ones in Amsterdam

The Mauritshuis, frequently called the Royal Picture Gallery, recently expanded into an adjacent building via an underground tunnel; the collection of paintings of William V, Prince of Orange was presented to the Dutch state by his son, King William I

The Mauritshuis, frequently called the Royal Picture Gallery, recently expanded into an adjacent building via an underground tunnel; the collection of paintings of William V, Prince of Orange was presented to the Dutch state by his son, King William I

Joachim Beuckelaer, Kitchen Scene with Christ at Emmaus, 1565; this incredibly detailed painting was a precursor to the still lifes of the 17th century

Joachim Beuckelaer, Kitchen Scene with Christ at Emmaus, 1565; this incredibly detailed painting was a precursor to the still lifes of the 17th century

The 2 story, symmetrical Mauritshuis was built in 1641 next to the Binnenhof; it became an art museum in 1822 and was opened to the public

The 2 story, symmetrical Mauritshuis was built in 1641 next to the Binnenhof; it became an art museum in 1822 and was opened to the public

Johannes Vermeer, View of Delft, 1661; this is the most famous cityscape from the Dutch Golden Age (the Oostpoort on the right still exists)

Johannes Vermeer, View of Delft, 1661; this is the most famous cityscape from the Dutch Golden Age (the Oostpoort on the right still exists)

Rembrandt, Self-Portrait, 1669; the Mauritshuis is often called a mini-Rijksmuseum since it is more intimate and less overwhelming than the Amsterdam museum

Rembrandt, Self-Portrait, 1669; the Mauritshuis is often called a mini-Rijksmuseum since it is more intimate and less overwhelming than the Amsterdam museum

Peter Paul Rubens, Modello for the Assumption of the Virgin, 1625; this is not a finished painting, but a model, for an enormous altarpiece at the Antwerp Cathedral

Peter Paul Rubens, Modello for the Assumption of the Virgin, 1625; this is not a finished painting, but a model, for an enormous altarpiece at the Antwerp Cathedral

Jan Brueghel I and Hendrik van Balen, Garland of Fruit Surrounding a Depiction of Cybele, 1623; the museum had an audioguide but the Rick Steves tour was excellent too

Jan Brueghel I and Hendrik van Balen, Garland of Fruit Surrounding a Depiction of Cybele, 1623; the museum had an audioguide but the Rick Steves tour was excellent too

Posted by VagabondCowboy 17:59 Comments (0)

Low key Delft provides historic Dutch perspective

The painter Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) was born in Delft; he used Delft streets and home interiors as the subject or background in his paintings

The painter Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) was born in Delft; he used Delft streets and home interiors as the subject or background in his paintings

Delftware epitomizes Dutch prosperity during the Golden Age in the 17th century; the distinctive blue and white pottery is seen everywhere and you can tour factories where it is still made today

Delftware epitomizes Dutch prosperity during the Golden Age in the 17th century; the distinctive blue and white pottery is seen everywhere and you can tour factories where it is still made today

The 1679 Molen de Roos is the only windmill left from the 18 that were once located in Delft; I stayed in Delft which was nice except the hotel didn't have AC and it was very hot

The 1679 Molen de Roos is the only windmill left from the 18 that were once located in Delft; I stayed in Delft which was nice except the hotel didn't have AC and it was very hot

Dutch dogs are happier than your average pooch since they get to go almost everywhere with their owner; the happiest are those in baskets on the front of bicycles with the ears blown back as they enjoy the ride

Dutch dogs are happier than your average pooch since they get to go almost everywhere with their owner; the happiest are those in baskets on the front of bicycles with the ears blown back as they enjoy the ride

The Dutch churches, like the New Church, are not ornate like those built in later centuries but make up for that austerity in sheer size

The Dutch churches, like the New Church, are not ornate like those built in later centuries but make up for that austerity in sheer size

The eastern gate, the only Delft gate remaining, is an example of Brick Gothic northern European architecture that was built around 1400; around 1510, the towers were enhanced with an additional octagonal floor and high spires

The eastern gate, the only Delft gate remaining, is an example of Brick Gothic northern European architecture that was built around 1400; around 1510, the towers were enhanced with an additional octagonal floor and high spires

The Renaissance-style Town Hall was built in 1620 and stands across the large market square from the New Church; on Thursdays the huge square has its weekly market day

The Renaissance-style Town Hall was built in 1620 and stands across the large market square from the New Church; on Thursdays the huge square has its weekly market day

More than 21,000 students attend Delft University of Technology; it was founded as an academy for civil engineering in 1842 by King William II

More than 21,000 students attend Delft University of Technology; it was founded as an academy for civil engineering in 1842 by King William II

Rick Steves said that if you spend the night anywhere in the Netherlands other than Amsterdam, then stay in Delft so I did; it was quiet and peaceful like he predicted

Rick Steves said that if you spend the night anywhere in the Netherlands other than Amsterdam, then stay in Delft so I did; it was quiet and peaceful like he predicted

Beloved Dutch ruler William I of Orange is buried in the New Church and all Dutch royalty after him are also in the crypt underneath the church although it's off-limits to visitors

Beloved Dutch ruler William I of Orange is buried in the New Church and all Dutch royalty after him are also in the crypt underneath the church although it's off-limits to visitors

Easy to see The Hague from the top of the New Church; Dutch cities are compact and relatively close together but separated by farmland (for now)

Easy to see The Hague from the top of the New Church; Dutch cities are compact and relatively close together but separated by farmland (for now)

At the top of the building on the right is an inscription noting that the first printed Dutch Bible was produced here in 1477; presumably the Subway wasn't here then

At the top of the building on the right is an inscription noting that the first printed Dutch Bible was produced here in 1477; presumably the Subway wasn't here then

Amsterdam's Schiphol airport is only 45 minutes away by train; it's cheaper to stay in Delft than Rotterdam, the Hague or Amsterdam

Amsterdam's Schiphol airport is only 45 minutes away by train; it's cheaper to stay in Delft than Rotterdam, the Hague or Amsterdam

Cool segways are actually mini school buses; each holds six kids and can more easily manage the streets in the city center which are largely free of cars

Cool segways are actually mini school buses; each holds six kids and can more easily manage the streets in the city center which are largely free of cars

Very large and luxurious, late Gothic private house with stone facade and a nice turret built in 1505; since 1645 it has been the seat of the Dyke Conservancy Board of Delfland

Very large and luxurious, late Gothic private house with stone facade and a nice turret built in 1505; since 1645 it has been the seat of the Dyke Conservancy Board of Delfland

The heart of Delft hasn't changed much in 500 years; outside the old city wall and moat, there are now new high-rise buildings going up as employers locate here to draw employees from both Rotterdam and The Hague

The heart of Delft hasn't changed much in 500 years; outside the old city wall and moat, there are now new high-rise buildings going up as employers locate here to draw employees from both Rotterdam and The Hague

Delft is considered the birthplace of microbiology thanks to Antonie van Leeuwenhoek who is generally credited with inventing the microscope; he was born in Delft in 1632 and died here at the age of 90

Delft is considered the birthplace of microbiology thanks to Antonie van Leeuwenhoek who is generally credited with inventing the microscope; he was born in Delft in 1632 and died here at the age of 90

For 150 years the spire of the Old Church was the tallest in town until the New Church was completed in 1496; the city of Delft has slightly more than 100,000 residents

For 150 years the spire of the Old Church was the tallest in town until the New Church was completed in 1496; the city of Delft has slightly more than 100,000 residents

The Liberation Window in the Old Church honors figures from World War 2; most of the stained glass in the church is Biblical in nature but this is one of two that isn't

The Liberation Window in the Old Church honors figures from World War 2; most of the stained glass in the church is Biblical in nature but this is one of two that isn't

Large private house originally built in 1565; the entrance was altered in the 18th century when it became the Latin School

Large private house originally built in 1565; the entrance was altered in the 18th century when it became the Latin School

Delft is very conveniently located midway between Rotterdam and The Hague; each is 20-30 minutes away by train and/or tram

Delft is very conveniently located midway between Rotterdam and The Hague; each is 20-30 minutes away by train and/or tram

Quaint Delft is a nice alternative if you want to avoid the tourist buses and big city crowds; it is much more manageable and easily seen than its larger neighbors

Quaint Delft is a nice alternative if you want to avoid the tourist buses and big city crowds; it is much more manageable and easily seen than its larger neighbors

You can barely see the Rotterdam skyline between the two spires; many huge Dutch churches, like this one, are no longer in use

You can barely see the Rotterdam skyline between the two spires; many huge Dutch churches, like this one, are no longer in use

The enormous market square looks more like one you'd find in Spain or Italy; it's several times larger than any other I've seen in the Netherlands

The enormous market square looks more like one you'd find in Spain or Italy; it's several times larger than any other I've seen in the Netherlands

The oldest part of the roof of the New Church is nicely painted; as best I can tell this would date to 1655 when the roof was replaced after a large store of gunpowder exploded nearby destroying the old roof

The oldest part of the roof of the New Church is nicely painted; as best I can tell this would date to 1655 when the roof was replaced after a large store of gunpowder exploded nearby destroying the old roof

The Netherlands has more bicycles than people with theft a big problem; tennis pro Michaella Krajicek, ranked 30 in 2008, was born in Delft

The Netherlands has more bicycles than people with theft a big problem; tennis pro Michaella Krajicek, ranked 30 in 2008, was born in Delft

The most recognizable feature of the Old Church is a 75-meter-high brick tower that leans about two meters from the vertical; it's been this way since it was first built and, supposedly, it's stable

The most recognizable feature of the Old Church is a 75-meter-high brick tower that leans about two meters from the vertical; it's been this way since it was first built and, supposedly, it's stable

The original stained glass windows were destroyed in a 1536 fire and their replacements broken in a thunderstorm in 1654; the current windows date from 1936 (they were removed during World War 2)

The original stained glass windows were destroyed in a 1536 fire and their replacements broken in a thunderstorm in 1654; the current windows date from 1936 (they were removed during World War 2)

In many cities, like Delft, the business centers are located next to the main train station; it is expensive to create parking garages so companies locate in an effort to discourage car use in favor of bikes or train

In many cities, like Delft, the business centers are located next to the main train station; it is expensive to create parking garages so companies locate in an effort to discourage car use in favor of bikes or train

Construction on the New Church began in 1393 and took more than 100 years to complete; of course, I climbed the 376 steps to get the best view in town

Construction on the New Church began in 1393 and took more than 100 years to complete; of course, I climbed the 376 steps to get the best view in town

Posted by VagabondCowboy 05:36 Comments (0)

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