Mechelen Inn, Delft

Mechelen Inn, Delft

In 1641, Vermeer's father Reijnier Janszoon Vos bought the large Mechelen Inn on Markt (Market Place). As a tavern – with lodgings to stay overnight – it was much larger than a regular inn. In fact, Mechelen was the largest building in the area – standing on the corner of Oude Manhuissteeg (Old Men's Alley). The six fireplaces the tavern had offers a pretty good idea of its size.

The Inn enjoyed strategic location at the heart of the bustling city, with the Town Hall on one side and the Nieuwe Kerk on the other, and as such was much loved by the locals as a meeting place. Among those who frequented here were distinguished artists like Evert van Aelst, Egbert van der Poel and Leonaert Bramer – the latter being a friend of the Vermeer family, who came regularly for a bit of shop-talk and likely business.

In 1885 the Inn was demolished, to reduce fire hazard, and today no building stands in its place.

In 1955 a memorial tablet was placed on the wall of the adjoining house, at 52 Markt, to mark the spot where Mechelen once stood. Created by the Delft sculptor Johan Bijsterveld, the tablet bears the inscription: "Here stood Mechelen House where the artist Jan Vermeer was born in 1632", which contains two factual mistakes.

Firstly, Vermeer was not born in Mechelen but in the nearby Flying Fox, at 25 Voldersgracht, and only moved here when aged 9. And secondly, Vermeer never used the name Jan. He was baptized Joannis and always signed deeds as Joannes, Joannis or Johannis. Despite criticism, the foundation Delft Binnen De Veste (Delft Within The Ramparts), responsible for the inscription, stuck with the name Jan as more familiar, and so left the plaque as it is.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Delft. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Mechelen Inn on Map

Sight Name: Mechelen Inn
Sight Location: Delft, Netherlands (See walking tours in Delft)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Delft, Netherlands

Create Your Own Walk in Delft

Create Your Own Walk in Delft

Creating your own self-guided walk in Delft is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Johannes Vermeer's Delft Walk

Johannes Vermeer's Delft Walk

The Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer (1632 – 1675) spent almost his entire life in his home town, Delft. He left only a few times, towards the end, on the short trips to Amsterdam and The Hague.

The old Delft undoubtedly was one of the most typical little towns of the 17th-century Netherlands, and as such, was rather picturesque. Just like any other Dutch place, Delft was dominated by its...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Delft Introduction Walking Tour

Delft Introduction Walking Tour

The word "delven" in Dutch means "to dig." The town of Delft began in 1075 when a nobleman decided to build his dream manor where a canal crossed the silted up river Gantel. A settlement became a market town with a large market square. The town was called "Delft."

Canals were vital to Delft. Flat-bottomed boats brought in products, fuel and people. In 1246 Count...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles