Delft - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Delft


South of Amsterdam lies Delft, a Dutch city famous for its distinctive blue and white ceramics. There is more to Delft than china, however, and the city has a 750-year history full of drama and excitement.

Founded in 1246, Delft became a prosperous city until much of it was destroyed by a great fire in 1536. It was hit with another disaster in 1654, when a gunpowder warehouse exploded and large sections of the city were destroyed. Delft has also been the site of Dutch East India Company offices, acting as a major trading centre in the Netherlands.

Nowadays, Delft is one of the prettiest towns in the Netherlands, with a number of beautiful buildings and a network of canals that are pleasant to stroll along. There are a few museums worth visiting, and the Thursday Market at the main square is a great place to both soak up some local culture and do a bit of souvenir shopping.

The city has a lively atmosphere thanks to the 13,000 students of the Delft University of Technology, and there are a number of cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs to keep everyone entertained. While Delft has no red light district, there are a few marijuana coffeeshops in town as well.

Of course, the famous earthenware is not to be forgotten and apart from the tourist shop windows, which overflow with a sea of blue and white, you can visit the Porcelijne Fles, the factory which produces the most iconic pieces.

Information & Facts

Dutch is the official language. English is widely spoken. Fries (as well as Dutch) is spoken by the people of Friesland province.

Single European currency, or Euro (EUR), is the official currency of the Netherlands, and is divided into 100 cents. Major credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. To avoid additional charges take travellers cheques in Euros, Pounds Sterling or US Dollars. Foreign currency or travellers cheques can be changed at banks, post offices or bureaux de change (usually indicated by the letters GWK). Banks are closed on weekends but bureaux de change are open. ATMs are widely distributed and most are open 24 hours a day.

The white and blue decorative pottery, the trademark of Royal Delftware, was influenced by Chinese porcelain brought back from the east by the tradesmen of the Dutch East India Company. The Royal Delftware Factory (Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles) is the only remaining earthenware factory in Delft and dates back to the 17th century. Visitors to the factory can see painting demonstrations, attend painting workshops or visit the factory's museum and showroom. Delft is 30 miles (47km) south of Amsterdam, near The Hague. There is also a showroom in Amsterdam where visitors can also view a painting demonstration and view an exhibition. The address is Nieuwe Uilenburgerstraat 175-179 (on the premises of Gassan Diamonds).

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