Tin-glazed earthenware, with blue-and-white or polychrome decoration, first made in the early 17th century at Delft, Holland. Dutch potters later introduced the art of tin glazing to England along with the name, which now applies to wares manufactured in the Netherlands and England. It is distinguished from faience (made in France, Germany, Spain, and Scandinavia) and majolica (made in Italy).
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City (pop., 2001 est.: 96,180), southwestern Netherlands. Founded in 1075 and chartered in 1246, it was a trade centre in the 16th–17th centuries and was famous for its delftware pottery. It was the birthplace of jurist Hugo Grotius (1583) and painter Jan Vermeer (1632). Landmarks include a Gothic church, a Renaissance-style town hall, and a 17th-century armory. Principal manufactures include ceramics.
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The city dates from the 13th century. It received its charter in 1246.
The association of the House of Orange with Delft began when William of Orange (Willem van Oranje), nicknamed William the Silent (Willem de Zwijger), took up residence there in 1572. William was the leader at the time in the struggle against the Spanish, the Eighty Years' War.
Delft was one of the leading cities of Holland and was equipped with the necessary city walls to serve as a headquarters. When William was shot to death in 1584 by Balthazar Gerards in the hall of the Prinsenhof, the family's traditional burial place in Breda was in the hands of the Spanish. He was buried in the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church), starting a tradition for the House of Orange that has continued to the present day.
The Delft Explosion also known in history as the Delft Thunderclap occurred on October 12 1654 when a gunpowder store exploded destroying much of the city of Delft in the Netherlands. Over a hundred people were killed and thousands wounded.
About 40 tonnes of gunpowder were stored in barrels in a magazine in a former Clarissen convent in the Doelenkwartier district. Cornelis Soetens, the keeper of the magazine, opened the store to check a sample of the powder and a huge explosion followed. Luckily, many citizens were away, visiting a market in Schiedam or a fair in The Hague. Artist Carel Fabritius was wounded in the explosion and died of his injuries. Egbert van der Poel painted several pictures of Delft after the explosion showing the devastation.
The city center retains many old and historical buildings, and many streets have canals in the center, inhabited by fish and plants making this small city a tourist destination and a beautiful small city. Historical buildings include:
The painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) was born in Delft. Vermeer used Delft streets and home interiors as the subject or background of his paintings.
Several other famous painters lived and worked in Delft at that time, such as Pieter de Hoogh, Carel Fabritius, Nicolaes Maes, Gerard Houckgeest and Hendrick Cornelisz. van Vliet. They all were members of the Delft School. The Delft School is known for its images of domestic life, views of households, church interiors, courtyards, squares and the streets of Delft. The painters also produced pictures showing historic events, flower paintings, portraits for patrons and the court, and decorative pieces of art.
The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, providing postgraduate education for people from developing countries, draws on the strong tradition in water management and hydraulic engineering of the Delft university.
Delft was the birthplace of several internationally well known persons:
(source: Delft municipality guide 2005)