A number of historic sites are open to the public – with special student discounts.
Museum Het Prinsenhof Delft
The Prinsenhof Museum plays a lead role in the history of Delft. Built in the 15th century as a nunnery, the building was given to William of Orange in 1572 as the Prince’s Court (Prinsenhof). On July 10, 1584, Balthasar Gerards assassinated the prince in his home and the holes made by the gunshots can still be seen in the stone walls. Talking about the most interesting aspect of the museum for international visitors, Saskia Smit, from the Communication & Marketing team of Heritage Delft, says “The story of William of Orange, his role in the revolt, his murder. His leadership at the cradle of the Dutch Republic justifiably makes Orange one of the most important figures of Dutch history ever.” If this sounds fascinating, then here’s the good news. “We offer a discount for students. When you show your student card, ISIC or CJP card you receive €3.50 off of the ticket price; regular tickets cost €8.50. If you have a Museum Card entrance is free,” she adds. Moreover, the museum often also collaborates with the university on exhibitions. “Next year we’re opening an exhibition in which works by TU Delft students are incorporated.”
Museum Het Prinsenhof,
Sint Agathaplein 1, 2611 HR Delft
The Vermeer Centrum Delft opened to the public in 2007. Dedicated to the life and works of 17th century Dutch master, Johannes Vermeer, it is the only place in the world with true scale reproductions of all of his paintings. The centre itself is built on the spot where the St. Lucas Guild of artists met during Vermeer’s time. An interesting exhibit in the centre is a dining table marked with the names of all the artists who met during Vermeer’s time. One section walks you through his paintings, with detailed explanations about the inspiration behind each work. There also is a section explaining Vermeer’s use of light and his experiments with photography and the materials he used. Every Sunday at 10:30 the centre offers a free guided tour free, with a regular entrance tickets. Student tickets cost €6. The centre has a cafe with changing contemporary art and, of course, a memorabilia shop.
Vermeer Centrum Delft,
Voldersgracht 21, 2611 EV Delft
Tabak’s Historisch Museum
Started by cigar specialist Louis Bracco Gartner, the collection at the Tabaks Historisch Museum Delft takes you through the history of the tobacco industry in the Netherlands. In the 19th century, Delft had several prominent cigar factories and hundreds of cigar makers were active here. Old cigar tins, lighters and over a 1,000 pipes are part of the collection at the tabak museum. “These are items collected over the last 50 years, and span the 17th century till the present. A lot of the pipes in our collection were found under the ground of the old city,” says Ryna Bracco Gartner, his wife. “Every showcase tells another story in the history of tabak (tobacco) in the Netherlands,” she adds. A small private museum, it can only accommodate 12 people at a time and one must call to make an appointment beforehand. “I will be there to explain to visitors about the history,” she says. There is no entry fee, but visitors are welcome to make a donation towards the upkeep of the museum.
Van Bossestraat 4, 2613 CR Delft
First published in TU Delta on July 1, 2013. Read it here.