There’s not a direct train from Gouda to Delft. We had to go to Rotterdam and from there we caught the train to Delft. As we had to wait around 20 minutes for the train, we went outside of the train station to have a brief look at Rotterdam and to take a few pictures.
It was about 13 o’clock when we arrived in Delft. We went towards the city center and we found a busy city.
We stopped to eat our sandwiches. While we were having lunch on a bench near the canal, there was a swan and some ducks that approached us. It was the first time I saw a swan!
Wu, who was trying to give some food to the swan, was bitten by it.
After lunch, we walked towards the “Nieuwe Kerk” (New Church), passing by “Maria van Jessekerk” (Maria van Jesse Church). This church built between 1875 and 1882 was originally erected in honor of St. Joseph. Thus, it was known as “Sint Jozefkerk” (St. Joseph Church). It was not before 1971 that its name was changed to “Maria van Jessekerk”. Maria van Jesse Church was the first Catholic church established in the city center after the Reformation.
We visited the “Nieuwe Kerk” (New Church). Unfortunately, due to the bad weather, we were not allowed to climb the 108,75 meters tower, which is the second highest church tower in the Netherlands. So, we just bought the ticket to visit the church.
What most caught our attention inside the Church was the Mausoleum of William of Orange, known in Netherlands as “Father of the Fatherland”.
The Church’s stained glasses are also very beautiful.
The New Church’s tower is blackened on its top and it gave us the impression of fire damage. But no. Although the tower was damaged by a fire in the past, it burned down to the ground and a new one was built. The black color we can see nowadays is the consequence of the acid rain. Bentheimer sandstone was used to build the top of the tower and acid rain causes it to darken over time.
When we left the New Church we found the Markt Square very busy. Sinterklaas had arrived in Delft on that day, so people were gathering in front of the City Hall to welcome him. Many of them were dressed as “Zwarte Pieten” (Black Peters), the Sinterklaas helpers. One of them gave us “kruidnoten”, which are small gingerbread-like cookies.
If there is a New Church, it means there must be an Old Church, too. The “Oude Kerk” (Old Church) was founded as St. Bartholomew Church in 1246. As the Church was built right next to the canal, in 1325, when plans were made to build a tower, the only free space for it was the canal. So the canal was diverted and filled in and the tower was built on top of it. As a consequence, the tower started to subside. Luckily it was stabilized. Nowadays, the most recognizable feature of the Old Church is its leaning tower, which leans about 2 meters from the vertical.
Before leaving Delft we had a walk in the Garden of the “Prinsenhof” (The Court of the Prince), in witch there’s a statue of William of Orange also known as William the Silent.
We went back to the train station to catch the train to Den Haag, the final destination of our trip.