Delft, Netherlands

The Charming, Canal-Ringed, Home Of The World-Famous Delftware Pottery

Grote Markt (Market Square), Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love rail travel in Europe. Frequent, fast, comfortable and affordable. Today, and after a final Sunday morning & early afternoon parting scoot around the historic centre of Bruges, I boarded a train to Antwerp, stashed my bags in its impressive train station, paid a fleeting visit to the historic centre of the city, and was shortly thereafter on a train to my present location of Delft, via Rotterdam, in Holland. Three cities & trains, two countries, one day & no hassle. Just like that. I love travelling when I’m travelling; I love getting places as well as the places themselves. So today was my kind of day.

Central Station in Antwerp, Belgium. January 17, 2016.

A section of the impressive interior of Centraal Station, Antwerp, Belgium. January 17, 2016 || One of the city’s premier landmarks, it was built between 1895 and 1905 to a harmonious blend of styles, a nice way of saying that the eclecticism of the architectural influences of its constructions doesn’t fit any one particular architectural style. Widely regarded as the finest example of railway architecture in Belgium, 2014 saw it being awarded Most Beautiful Train Station in The World status by British-American magazine Mashable while in 2009 American Newsweek magazine judged it to be the world’s fourth greatest train station. The multilevel beast is big, bright & airy with a huge central dome over the marble-heavy entrance hall and glass-covered platforms on the upper level where this picture of the departures board was captured some 12 minutes before my 15:45 departure from platform 22 to Delft.

Delft, Netherlands

Renowned for its canals & world-famous for its Delftware, Delft is a relaxed & canal-ringed city in the western Netherlands. Charming doesn’t even begin to describe this place, a small, manageable city that almost doesn’t feel real. Indeed, at times Delft is so idyllic that you feel like you’re walking around a movie set, a mock-up of picture-perfect Netherlands. This is especially true at night when the canals, most of which are too small to be navigable by anything other than Delft’s resident ducks, are nicely illuminated with twinkling fairy lights. People zip around on bikes with a smile on their faces, no one seems to be in a hurry, the streets are quiet (even though there’s seemingly a university around here somewhere), and places open late, if at all. It’s all a bit too relaxed.

Grote Markt (Market Square), Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) & City Hall
I was in a rush once I disembarked the train in Delft from Antwerp, Belgium, to get to the city’s gorgeous Grote Markt (Market Square) in a bid to catch the last light of the day.

Dusk in Grote Markt, Delft, Netherlands. January 17, 2016.

Dusk in Grote Markt, Delft, Netherlands. January 17, 2016 || The most striking landmark of central Delft’s main square is the piercing, slender 109 metre-high tower of the 15th-century Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), the second tallest structure in Netherlands. Delft was once the seat of the royal House of Orange & the church crypt houses family’s tombs.

Old Town Hall on Grote Markt, Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016.

Old Town Hall on Grote Markt, Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016 || The Market Square’s other striking edifice is City Hall, a Renaissance style building that was the former seat of the city’s government and is still in use today for civic events.

A bicycle by the canal in Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016.

A bicycle by the canal in Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016.

No country in Europe is so kindly disposed towards the bicycle than the pancake-flat Netherlands: you’ll find bike paths in and around all towns, plus long-distance touring routes taking you deep into the countryside.

– The Rough Guide to Netherlands

Early morning by the canals in Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016.

Early morning by the canals in Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016.

Delftware
As expected, given that it is the manufacturing base for Delftware, the world-famous hand-painted blue-and-white pottery, options abound in Delft itself to stock up on all things blue-and-white.

Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016.

A shop display on Grote Markt (Market Square) in Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016.

A wall mural off Grote Markt in Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016.

A wall mural off Grote Markt in Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016.

Amsterdam bound. On the platform of the train station in Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016.

Right on time. Amsterdam bound. On the platform of the train station in Delft, Netherlands. January 18, 2016.

Delft, Netherlands || The Gallery

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