Eastern_Gate These slides were taken when Ruth and I visited Delft in 1974.  The Eastern Gate (Oostpoort) in Delft was built around 1400. Around 1510 the towers were enhanced with an additional octagonal floor and high spires. This is the only city gate remaining in Delft, the others were demolished in the nineteenth century. [Wikipedia] Old_Church_leaning_tower The Oude Kerk (Old Church), Delft. [Wikipedia]: The five characteristic spires of the Oude Kerk (Old Church) tower above the old city centre of Delft. It is the oldest parish church in the city and was originally known as the St Hippolyte Church. The sagging tower of the Oude Kerk is no longer the highest in the city. Nevertheless, it is still as strikingly beautiful as it was during the Middle Ages. The solid presence of the church and tower reaffirms Delft's lasting position in history.

The year 1246 is given as the church's official date of birth, but in fact its history goes back much further. Hundreds of years before count William II enfranchised the city, the inhabitants of the settlement along ‘de Delf’ held church services on the same spot. It is generally assumed that there had been a wooden church on this site as early as 1050. Niew_Kerk The Niewe Kerk (New Church), Delft.  [Wikipedia]: A vision
In January 1351 a beggar, an eccentric by repute, fell to his knees on the market square in Delft. His name was Brother Simon. According to the ‘Beschrijvinge der Stadt Delft’ (Description of the Town of Delft) dating from 1667, a certain Jan Col brought him some food. He was addressed by Simon with the words: “My dearly beloved friend, dost thou not see the Heavens open?” Both looked towards the sky and, according to tradition, saw a golden church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

The beggar died soon after, but for the next thirty years on the same day of January, Jan Col continued to see a brilliant light shining on the spot indicated by Brother Simon. He was convinced that a church should be built in that place. When two deeply devout Beguines supported his request and one of them, moreover, bore the stigmata of Christ on the cross, the town council agreed to the construction of a church on that spot. It was not until it was actually built and consecrated that the annual vision of Jan Col disappeared.

Wooden church
The church which rose up on the market square following the visions of Brother Simon and Jan Col was the second parish church in Delft and was called the ‘Nieuwe Kerk’ (New Church). The original church was a temporary wooden building around which the basilica, as we know it today, was built over a period of a century. The wooden church, which remained until 1420, was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. While the brick basilica was still under construction, St. Ursula became the second patron saint of the Nieuwe Kerk. canal_ruth_on_bridge Ruth at a church bridge over a canal. canal_reflections Lovely canal reflections. canal_dinghy_Ruth Ruth watches a family pass on the canal. House_of_Orange The residence of William of Orange.  He was shot and died here. [Wikipedia]: William I of Orange-Nassau (April 24, 1533 – July 10, 1584), also widely known as William the Silent (Dutch: Willem de Zwijger), was born in the House of Nassau, and became Prince of Orange in 1544. He was the main leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish that set off the Eighty Years' War and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1648.

A wealthy nobleman, William originally served at the court of the governor Margaret of Parma. Unhappy with the lack of political power for the local nobility and the Spanish persecution of Dutch Protestants, William joined the Dutch uprising and turned against his former masters. The most influential and politically capable of the rebels, he led the Dutch to several military successes in the fight against the Spanish. Declared an outlaw by the Spanish king in 1580, he was assassinated by Balthasar Gérard (also written as 'Gerardts') in Delft at a time when William's popularity was waning. (Note: William of Orange (French: Guillaume, Dutch: Willem, German Wilhelm) is the name of several historical people. In the context of Irish and British history, it refers most often to William III of England; in the context of Dutch history, it is usually in reference to William the Silent.) courtyard_House_of_Orange Courtyard of William the Silent's house. garden_House_of_Orange The courtyard garden alley_bridge_bicycles A peek through an alley boys_playing_hockey Boys at play