On a rainy Sunday just before Rosh HaShana we took the train from Amsterdam for a visit to the historic Dutch city of Delft. I enjoyed visiting Delft, and while certainly "Dutch" and charming the city has a much heavier feeling to it than say Haarlem, which I posted about here. These feelings could be on account of the overcast skies, so please don't take offense anyone, or maybe because of it's roots as an industrial city once filled with factories?
Delft is in the region called South Netherlands, between Rotterdam and The Hague, and is now home to a very large Technological University. It was also the home to the reknowned painter Johannes Vermeer, and at one time a major producer of Delft pottery, with many many factories producing the blue and white pottery inspired by pottery imported from China.
LOVE this little turet, that I in fact thought was the Royal Delft factory. But I was mistaken and we wandered around and actually got quite lost looking for the factory/museum. We even by accident wandered through the campus of the university, which surprisingly enough was totally empty on account of it being Sunday. That just goes to show you that the Dutch must know that the weekend is important. In the United States many university campuses are still quite buzzing on Sundays with students going to the library to study and so forth!
We finally found the Royal Delft factory, which I blogged about here, just next to the university, and I just had to take a photo of this typical Dutch front yard.....bench, check, orchids in window, check, lace curtains, check, love it!
The Delft town hall, located on the town square is quite an imposing building, built in 1620!
Love the little buildings lining the town square.
A floating seating area on the canal!
A little bridge in a new section of town just beyond the town square.
And back to the historic canal houses that we love so much!
Beautiful architectural details.
And then suddenly seemingly out of nowhere I spy some hebrew letters between the branches. Of course my two ten year old girl companions didn't believe me, as really what would a synagogue be doing here? I of course had read that there's a historic synagogue in Delft, but didn't think we'd have time to find it.
I was so very excited to have happened upon it "accidently" just hours before Rosh HaShana! It turned out that inside there was an exhibit about historic synagogues in The Netherlands, but two of us don't read Dutch and we really didn't have time to look too closely.
The synagogue was built in 1862 and flourished for half a century, but by World War 1 only 100 Jews lived in Delft, and by 1942, 5o or so were deported by the Germans, and only 12 returned after the war. The synagogue was sold to the city but eventually bought back and re-opened as a community center with services every two weeks and on holidays.
Heading back to the train station.......
Lots of red brick buildings in Delft, which I believe are mostly painted in Amsterdam?
The gorgeous train station, undergoing some major construction around it.......
And in constrast, some fun modern architecture that we saw at one of the stations during a change over. I have since forgotten which station this is, can one of my Dutch readers please remind me? I do remember that someone screamed at me "Frau!" as they thought I was dangerously close to the edge taking this photo, though really I wasn't, promise!
And just on a side note, when you buy a train ticket in The Netherlands, they will be happy to print out an itinerary for you showing alternate routes and times, so amazing! This service was not offered to me at the very busy Central Station, but in Leiden the clerk happily offered it to me, and I was of course so very grateful to have an itinerary.
That's all for the Dutch leg of our European adventure, stay tuned for more adventures in a very different country!