Landscape of History and Architecture
Delft was a 13th century village that evolved to what it is now from the allure that made William I (Prince of Orange, one of the masterminds of the 80-year Dutch War of Independence against Spain in the mid-17th century) to live in the city when he was the most prominent figure of that period. From this piece of the Netherlands’ Middle Ages history and its strategically positioned walls and monuments in the Middle Age, Delft now boasts of medieval architecture with its surrounding cafes and bars perfect for outdoor dining.
The most imposing structure is the 15th century Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), the Dutch Royal Family’s tomb site since the murder of William I in 1584; a landmark with the second highest tower in the Netherlands. It stands right in the centre of the Markt, with the peak of its tower accessibly by a hearty climb through a narrow, spiraling staircase.
Delft is just 10 kilometres south of The Hague, 20 minutes by car, six minutes by the rail system and less than two hours of easy walking. Given that proximity it is quite a convenient weekend spot for a run or bike—which was pretty much what usually happened after a week’s worth of work at the Court (where I interned).
I usually started with a quick warm-up around my street in the southern outskirts of The Hague and pace up until the Line 1 of the tram that connects Delft all the way up to Scheveningen. Whether by foot or bike, the route is safe, convenient and scenic. But getting to Delft itself, one is rewarded with a relatively small town with the perfect mix of greens, a laid-back lifestyle, a homey city living and an upbeat social scene.