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Once upon a time, there was the city of Delft

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Topic: Travelling  |  Series: The Lowlands
Pohled na Delft ze věže Nieuwe KerkActually, there IS the city of Delft... A city of the Netherlands, located in the province of South Holland roughly between the cities of Den Haag and Rotterdam. However, the description mentioned above tends to be more apt. Since when you arrive to the center of Delft, you got the feeling as being in a fairy tale. You feel as getting centuries back somehow expecting Johannes Vermeer or Antoni van Leeuwenhoek coming out of the small houses any moment later.

Unfortunately, you won’t really meet none of the guys in Delft in those times. They both lived in Delft during 17th century. The former one being a talented painter and the latter one the inventor of microscope. Their gravestones are to be found in the Old Church (Oude Kerk) in Delft. There is also a New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) in the city. Its tower offers one of those amazing breathtaking views of the whole city and its surroundings. Far in the fog one can even glimpse a silhouette of Rotterdam.

I am writing about Delft, because I went to visit it at the weekend and I am still full of its atmosphere. A friend  of mine kept me a merry company during the trip, which made the whole day even more fabulous. I paid 24 EUR for the return ticket from Amsterdam. We made ourselves ready for a whole-day Dutch trip, making water-proof soft-shell jackets an indispensable part of it. The wheater was being changed as you would expect in the Lowlands.

We were welcome in Delft veiled in grayish clouds. But it was dry. The photos we took from the top of the New Church are therefore not very bright. But we managed to capture the old downtown with the famous town hall, Old Church and tiny houses with red roofs. We used the ticket (4 EUR) to visit the Old Church, too. After a short walk we stopped for belegde broodje (basically a Dutch sandwich, which should be part of a proper Dutch lunch, if I am not mistaken). When we got out of the restaurant, the Sun was shining and beckoning to some more walking outsider. However, we had other plans already: visit of Vermeer center with the exhibition of Vermeer‘s work.

Unfortunately his paintings can be find spread all over the world but not in Delft. Nevertheless we found out something about each of his painting whose poster reproductions were to be seen in the Center. The exhibition also explained a bit about his technique – playing around with light, perspective and space and about mixing of the colors. My favorite painting by Vermeer is definitely the Girl With A Pearl Earring. The original is displayed in Den Haag, however, at the moment, the piece is in US, as I informed myself at the desk. It gets back home in about one and half a year. Another famous Vermeer’s painting is to be seen in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; it is the Milkmaid. Besides, Vermeer left behind plethora of other works. What he did not left behind were any kind of notes of diaries. Most parts of his life remained therefore hidden and unexplained to us.

 

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Apart from Vermeer, Delft’s become famous and worldwide known through the pottery:  the blue-white tiles are a real Dutch legend. The hand-made pieces might get pretty expensive (a tea pot around 150 EUR). But one can find also cheaper stuff, especially when searching on the flea market, which takes place every Saturday in Delft.

 

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I know I would return to Delft in the (near) future, since I was completely taken away by it. I had the feeling as walking on a stage and I felt the Dutch Golden Age atmosphere on every corner. I watched a movie Girl With a Pearl Earring about the famous Vermeer’s painting of the same name. I already saw the adaptation of the book by Tracy Chevalier, but on that very evening it offered yet another dimension.

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