Prinsenhof Museum- Delft, Netherlands

First thing, Landon ran into the chapel and said, “Look, mom! A big organ!”
Little room off of the entrance/gift shop
Our first day in Delft, I fell in love with it. It is small enough to easily navigate, big enough to have plenty to do, with tons of European charm. I wanted to find an excuse to go there again, and going to Prinsenhof museum seemed like a great use of a morning. The train ride from Schiedam to Delft is only 8 minutes, so it makes for easy travel to a completely different place!
Landon and the fire place
Graphic of William’s many wives
Prinsenhof was the house of William of Orange, the man who is called “Vader of the Vaderland” or Father of the Fatherland by the Dutch people. During a time of political turmoil, he stepped forward as a resistance leader to the Spanish occupation, and eventually was assassinated for it. The political climate was quite interesting at the time. An Emperor in Brussels appointed his son, Philip, King of the Netherlands. However, he was Spanish and resided in Spain. The state religion was Catholicism, but Calvinist Protestantism was also popular and people were being persecuted for being Protestant. William of Orange wanted freedom of religion. He was born into a wealthy family in Germany that owned many estates and parcels of land throughout western Europe. When he married, he married strategically and gained even more land. His first wife died young and he married three more times during his life!
Portraits of William as a young, and older man
Painting of the Iconoclasm
The first signs of revolt happened during the Iconoclasm when Catholic icons, paintings, and anything superfluous was destroyed from the Cathedrals and churches. Eventually, the revolt of the Netherlands started the 80 year’s war and freedom of the Netherlands from Spanish rule. Spanish troops came up and took over towns and villages. There was much bloodshed to both sides, and the Spanish soldiers were not paid in money, so anything they took over they plundered for things to take back as payment. Eventually, a compromise was reached and the Netherland and Belgium were split and created as separate countries, with Belgium remaining Catholic and the Netherlands becoming primarily Protestant. William of Orange’s son and posterity continued to rule the country and that bloodline continues today with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. 
The infamous stairwell and hall
Along with telling the history of the country, Prinsenhof is the location of William of Orange’s assassination. The assassin, a Frenchman working for the Spanish monarchy, hid in a stairwell and waited for William to come downstairs from having dinner with his family. When he did, he was shot multiple times in the chest at close range in the stairwell. There are holes or impressions left by the bullets that are still there today. 
Upstairs in the museum is a tribute to all things Delft. I was impressed by the number of paintings depicting anatomy lessons. I guess doctors would invite the prominent men of town over and dissect deceased people for their entertainment and education. Then they would have a painter commemorate their lesson with a painting. Seems odd to me, but to each their own I guess. There was a room filled with products and product lines that originated in Delft, including the company that makes the peanut butter we ate while we were here. Thanks, Calves!
Depressions in the wall showing where bullet holes
missed and hit the wall behind William
Anatomy lesson painting
Spiral staircase
There was a whole section of the museum dedicated to Delft Blue pottery. As I had already toured the factory, and expensive porcelain is no place for a two-year-old, we quickly skirted that part of the museum and descended through an awesome spiral staircase back to where we started. From there, we found a garden with a maze of short shrubbery. Landon thought it looked just like a racetrack and started roaring around pretending to be Lightning McQueen. Then, he started crashing into bushes and benches and yelling at me to give him a tow. It was a fun game and got lots of energy out!
I kept having to remind myself that this was William’s House!
Prinsenhof fireplace
We ate at a café right in the shadow of the Oude Kerk, which is just across the street from Prinsenhof. I shared my love of tostis with Landon and he approved. I got a panini with pesto and tomato and it was delicious. Although Landon was running around like crazy, that will still be a favorite memory of mine, eating a delicious sandwich in this historical city outside in the sunshine! After lunch, we went briefly to a special exhibition that I thought was going to be a model of Delft. I even told Landon that there would be trains, which was a huge mistake. Not only was there not any trains, but there was nothing of interest to him at all. I had paid for it with the cost of the Prinsenhof ticket, so I wanted to see it, but it was just a bunch of older maps and a cool interactive touch screen tool where you could zoom in on different parts of the city. Just not the train station. So we stayed there about five minutes.
Spiral staircase!
Outside Prinsenhof
Prinsenhof museum
“Mommy, I crashed! Tow Me!”

Lightning McQueen!



















Old William of Orange’s house


Old map of Delft in special exhibition
Racing around the garden!
Delft Canals
Oostport gate house
Oostport Gate!
Oude Kerk in Delft clock






















After Landon ran around a bit more in the garden, we headed over to Oostpoort. This is the only remaining medieval gate of the city. It had interesting architecture with the pointy towers. I imagine back in the day when most houses were only 1-2 story, and there were not houses outside the gates, that the gates could be seen prominently even from far away. With these two attractions, we had finished my short list of things to do in Delft. I would recommend Delft to anyone visiting the Netherlands. It was my favorite city that we visited while we were there.

Love these towers
Imagine approaching the city and coming through this gate
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