Delft is a city located in Holand, in mid way from Rotterdam to La haya. The city had 94.098 habitants in 2005. Delft is more than 750 year old and its name comes from the word “dig”, “diging the oldest channel”, The Oude Delft. Delft received its license of city in 1246. From then on, the city thrived and new neighbourhoods appeared.
In 3rd of may 1536, the big fire burned out. The cause of the fire is unknown yet bit it is believed that the wooden neddle of the Nieuwe Kerk had been shaked by a flash of lighting and the spark fly set fire in the houses nearby. Aproximately, 2,300 houses were in fire until they become ashes. More than a hundred years later, in 1654, an explosion ruined a big part of the houses of the city. The basement of the Poor Clares convent on the top of Paardenmarkt was used to store gunpowder. This central store for the Dutch region contained more or less 80,000 pounds of gunpowder. The consequences of the explosion had been huge, 200 houses had been devastated, others end up semi-ruined and many others got broken windows. In 1660 a new gunpowder house was built a mile away from the center of the city.
THE DUCTH EAST INDIA COMPANY
The Dutch East India Company was one of the most important merchant societies of the world with a more than a hundred shiped fleet, thousands of employees, offices settled in Asia and six places in Benelux ( Belgique o Belgie, Nederland and Luxemburg) among then one being in Delft. In 1602, Delft was a flourishing city, a center of painting, arts, crafts and science. The stablishment of the company and the opening of the branch in the city, added another important motive to the economy of Delft and the trade with distant countries. Since then on, spices, coffee, te and the Chinese porcelain were connected with the city.
KNOWLEDGE AND CULTURE
In 1842 the Benelux was under the other neighbour countries from an industrial point of view. The country required technicaly qualiphied people so the Royal Academy for Civil Ingeniering was founded. The academy used the building of the old artillery school. Nowadays, the old academy has turned to be the Technical University which is the most important building of Delft.
Delft is not only a cultural city, but also a city of knowledge. The university is not the only building for education. There are also plenty of Institutes based on knowledges and bussiness, for instance, the DSM essencial idea, The Ducth Institute of Meassurement, Exack Software, Delft Instrument and so on.
PEOPLE CONNECTED TO THE CITY
- The painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was born in Delft. Vermeer made use of the streets and insides of Delft as motives or background of his paintings. His master pieces, famous worldwide, are shown in museums all over the world. Apart from the refined colours and armonious compositions, the treatement of the deepness and the play with the light is what makes the paintings of Vermeer to be so good. Vermeer worked and lived with his family in different places of the center of the town, which he used as his inspiration. Thanks to his paintings, an idea of the old Delft and also the life in Deflt at Golden Age, can be easily made.
- Delft is also the birthplace of the scientist Antoni Van Leeuwehoek (1632-1723) who polish some minuscule lens which increase the image up to 266 times, using them fro an interesting device; the microscope. Vermeer lso based on this device in his painting “The Geographer” and “The Astronomer”. Van Leeuwenhoek became the administrator of the inheritance of Vermeer after his death.