Did you know that the Netherlands was founded in Delft? In the 16th century, 1572 to be exact, William the Silent, the ‘Father of the Nation’, came to Delft to lead the rebellion against the Spanish invaders. After he had defeated the Spanish, he founded the Netherlands as a parliamentary state based on the principles of freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

Delft and the Dutch Royal Family have a historic connection which has existed for hundreds of years. It is the city were William the Silent lived after his flight from Breda in 1572, and where he was murdered twelve years later. But the relationship between Delft and the Dutch Royal Family also has a modern touch. We have listed the most important highlights of Delft for you. Walk along through Delft; City of Orange!

Museum Prinsenhof Delft

Start your voyage of discovery at Museum Prinsenhof Delft. The museum was the scene of one of the most important events in Dutch history: the assassination of William the Silent. William moved into the Saint Agatha monastry in 1572, which was then renamed  Prinsenhof, and which eventually became the Museum Prinsenhof Delft. On 10 July 1584, he was shot by Balthasar Gerards as he climbed the stairs to his office. You can still see the bullet holes in the wall of the museum....

Museum Prinsenhof Delft allows you to experience the history of the Netherlands. Experimenting and innovation have always played an important part in the history of Delft. Many Delft artists and scientists have been at the forefront of new developments and made a significant contribution to the development of science and culture in the Netherlands. In Museum Prinsenhof Delft you can learn about such famous residents of Delft as Johannes Vermeer, Michiel van Mierevelt, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek and Hugo de Groot. See for yourself how centuries of trade and commerce, engineering, art, and science have brought affluence to the Netherlands and changed the world.

Willem van Oranje kogelgaten


Today, the Diamanten Ring is a bakery where you can buy delicious bread rolls (a taste you won't forget!), but originally De Diamanten Ring was an inn. On that fateful morning of 10 July in 1584, Balthasar Gerards left the inn with two loaded pistols on his way to assassinate William the Silent. The window above the shop is the room where Balthasar Gerards stayed the night before.

De Diamanten Ring


If you committed a crime in Delft back in the Middle Ages, you would probably be locked up in this mediaeval prison. And you would be lucky to get out alive. Back in those days, the prisoners were often beaten and tortured. The man who assassinated William the Silent – Balthasar Gerards – was also imprisoned here. ‘Het Steen’ prison is still open to the public during the Dutch school holidays. You can find more information about this at the VVV Delft (located at the Kerkstraat 3).

Stadsgevangenis Het Steen
  • Museum Prinsenhof
  • Het Steen banner
  • Praalgraf Willem van Oranje
  • Portret van Willem van Oranje in 1580, door Adriaen Thomasz Key

The Old Church

Just around the corner of Museum Prinsenhof Delft you will find the Old Church, which dominates the skyline of Delft with its leaning tower. Admire the tower, the beautiful stained glass and the graves of famous Dutchmen such as Johannes Vermeer, Piet Hein and Anthonie van Leeuwenhoek.

Good to know: with your ticket for the Old Church you can also visit the New Church. Buy your ticket here!

Oude Kerk

The New Church

From the Old Church you can walk to the impressive New Church in approx. five minutes. The church is the final resting-place of William the Silent. Since William, almost every member of the Dutch Royal Family has been buried in the New Church. The Royal crypts are not open to the public, so there is an air of mystery about what they actually look like. In addition to the impressive mausoleum of William the Silent, there is a permanent exhibition about the special history of the church.

TIP! Would you like to admire the best view of Delft? Then climb the tower of the church with 376 steps.

Nieuwe Kerk Delft


Would you like to know more about other events in Delft? Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram page. Have fun!

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