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The Dutchest City in The Netherlands

It was love at first sight for me

By Chau TrieuPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
The Dutchest City in The Netherlands
Photo by Folco Masi on Unsplash

As a Vietnamese who had never set foot outside of Asia, I was pretty excited to go to my first European country, where I'd be spending my next three years of college.

Before departing to The Netherlands, I had all these mental images in my mind about the Dutch beauty that I had been introduced to by mainstream media. It's the stunning medieval buildings, the road carpeted with yellow and red leaves in the fall, the gorgeous and tiny cafés overlooking the canals with the water shimmering under the golden sunlight.

Delft has them all.

I went to 10 cities in The Netherlands during my three years living there and there is no place like Delft. This tiny town embodies everything I thought I knew about The Netherlands and what I did not know. Delft turned my imagination into reality and made it even better.

I never thought there would be a city I could immediately love until I visited Delft for the first time. It was my first time there, yet right from the first glance, I felt belonged. It was a magical feeling that I have never had with any other destinations.

Delft's Canals

By Shyam on Unsplash

This was where the magic first happened. You will see the splendid Delft's canals as soon as you leave the Delft station and enter the city center.

I first visited Delft in October 2017. It was a really cold day but the sun was shining brightly. When I arrived at the canal, I had to stop at the view. The streets on both sides of the canal were covered in yellow leaves. The sunlight was penetrating through the ones that were still hanging on to their dear life on the branches to reach the water, making it gleaming and twinkling. When I stood under a tree looking up, I could see how transparent the leaves were under the sun.

I came there at around 10 AM on a Sunday morning, which I thought was already late in the day. Yet, apparently, people in this town, and probably the whole country, love to stay in during the weekends. No cafés, restaurants, or shops were open for business yet. I remember walking around the city center for about 30 minutes and I only saw three people on their bikes, probably catching up with their morning exercise.

The town was completely silent. There was only the sound of birds chirping and the wind making the leaves rustle. No voice. No horn honking. Standing on the bridge looking to the canal, I found serenity. At that moment, I fell in love.

City Hall

By Michael Fousert on Unsplash

Passing the canals, I reached Delft Market Square. This place has a church and a city hall at both ends and multiple little shops on both sides. Let's talk about the city hall first.

Built around 1200, after being completely burnt down in a fire in 1618, the Stadhuis, or City Hall was redesigned and rebuilt in 1620 by the famous architect Hendrik de Keyser, who was considered the best architect of his time.

This building is an excellent representation of Renaissance art. Open windows with bright red shutters bring a touch of vibrant color to the grey building.

The City Hall is also where the Dutch hold their wedding ceremonies. This is where Johannes Vermeer fulfilled pre-marriage requirements with his fianceé.

New Chur

By Michael Fousert on Unsplash

To the opposite of the city hall is the Nieuwe Kerk or New Church. This church was completed in 1872. It is where many members of the royal family were buried, including "Founder of the Fatherland" William of Orange, according to The Telegraph. Of course, the royal tombs are not on public display and certainly, tourists do not visit the New Church to see them.

The main reason most people visit this tower is after climbing 376 steps of stairs, you will reach the top and be literally breathless admiring the stunning view of the city.

Vermeer Center

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

It is impossible for an art enthusiast to not know about the famous The Girl with The Pearl Earring painting. Often known as "Mona Lisa of The North" according to The Guardian, this presents the best of Dutch art. And the artist who created this masterpiece is no other than Johannes Vermeer who spent his entire life in Delft.

After a one-minute walk from the New Church, I reached Vermeer Center. This museum is a great place for every art lover. Vermeer Center is divided into three parts - The Life and Inspirations of Vermeer, Light and Vermeer's works, and Hidden Meanings in his works.

With the help of an audio tour and by witnessing his reproduced paintings in a life-sized format, every art enthusiast will surely understand more about how his works have such a long-lasting influence and shall be inspired by his masterpieces.

The lovely encounter that Delft Royal Blue brought me

By Rafik Wahba on Unsplash

Delft is famous for its Delft Blue pottery, which has been produced by the Royal Delft since the 17th century. This was what I was told when visiting a tiny souvenir shop in Market Square. Of course, the pottery is fascinating and all, but what truly made my trip to Delft that day memorable was the conversation I had with the shop owner.

He was a middle-aged Dutchman. His shop was the only open one so I came inside for a quick look.

Upon seeing me, he greeted me with the kindest smile and asked me what I was looking for. I told him that I saw the blue pottery from outside and I was immediately attracted so I wanted to come in and see. He proceeded to tell me everything he knew about the pottery.

Then, he asked me about my nationality and what I was doing in The Netherlands. Knowing that I'm Vietnamese, he enthusiastically talked about his travel to Southeast Asia in his 20s and how my country left him the best impression. A fascinating chat with him enriched further my experience in Delft. In the cold of an October morning, I felt the warmth from this town and its people.

Delft is a charming and fairytale-like city that is guaranteed to steal your heart. I can ramble on and on about Delft, but I believe a picture is worth a thousand words. Visit Delft and experience yourself the magical feeling I once did and still do every time I come back here, the place that the authors of DutchReview call "one of the best-kept secrets of The Netherlands".

female travel

About the Creator

Chau Trieu

Trying to create daily...

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