Oude Kerk (Old Church), Delft

Oude Kerk (Old Church), Delft (must see)

The Old Church, nicknamed "Old John," is a Gothic Protestant temple in Delft whose most recognizable feature is a 75-meter-high brick tower leaning about two meters from the vertical. The layout followed that of a traditional basilica, with a nave flanked by two smaller aisles. The church was founded as St. Bartholomew's in 1246 on the site previously occupied by other temples for two centuries.

There are three pipe organs inside the church: the main one (installed in 1857), the north aisle (installed in 1873), and the choir (installed in 1770). The most massive bell in the tower, cast in 1570 and called Trinitasklok or Bourdon, weighs nearly nine tonnes. Because of its strong and potentially damaging vibrations, it is rung only on special occasions, such as the burial of a Dutch royal family member in the nearby New Church.

The Old Church is also notable as the last resting place of Johannes Vermeer – the artist was buried here on 15th December 1675 in a family crypt in the northern transept, bought by his mother-in-law Maria Thins in 1661. His grave remained unmarked for some time because, upon the artist's death, his family had no money for a tombstone.

Today there are two markers for Vermeer's burial site: an austere plaque installed in 1975 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of his death; and a new, more elaborate tombstone, added in 2007, near the western
entrance. This creates a bit of confusion regarding the exact location of Vermeer's tomb. One thing is certain, though, that the artist rests in the company of some truly excellent citizens of Delft.

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.

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Oude Kerk (Old Church) on Map

Sight Name: Oude Kerk (Old Church)
Sight Location: Delft, Netherlands (See walking tours in Delft)
Sight Type: Religious
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