Dutch Language Blog

What Not to Miss in Delfshaven Posted by on Mar 17, 2011 in Uncategorized

Delfshaven (Photo Credit: Heather Tucker)

Sitting just outside the city centre of Rotterdam, Delfshaven was founded in the 14th century as the port of Delft. Delfshaven was part of the municipality of Delft until 1811, when it became a separate municipality until 1886. At this point it became a part of the municipality of Rotterdam. The Dutch East India Company established wharfs and warehouses in Delfshaven in the 16th century.

Today Delfshaven is a mixture of historic buildings and a small harbor with old sailing boats. Its historic appearance, so in contrast to the modern architecture of Rotterdam, is due mainly to the fact that it survived the bombardment on May 14, 1940 by the Luftwaffe. Many of the buildings in Delfshaven are now protected monuments.Here are some of the highlights that you can find in Delfshaven:

  • One of the most beautiful buildings in the area is a double gated warehouse dating

    De Dubbelde Palmboom (Image by cloggiecentral on Flickr)

    from the 19th century. De Dubbelde Palmboom is now a museum of Rotterdam History.

  • In 1620, the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for the New World aboard the Speedwell (via Plymouth where they joined the Mayflower) from the Middenkous Quay in Delfshaven. The Speedwell proved not to be seaworthy enough for the ocean crossing so returned to Plymouth where its pilgrim travellers crowded onto the Mayflower. Having worshipped in the old church of Delfshaven, the church has since been known as the Oude of Pelgrimvaderskerk.
  • Behind the old church is a statue of Piet Hein. Admiral Piet Hein, who was born in Delfshaven in 1577, was a famous naval officer of the Dutch Fleet. He is known for seizing the Spanish silver fleet in 1626.
  • Delfshaven (Photo Credit: Heather Tucker)

    At the end of Voorhaven is a windmill, De Distilleerketel, originally built in 1727 it used to process the grain for some of the 34 distilleries that were located in Rotterdam during the Goldern Era. It has been restored three times following fires and disrepair.

  • You can also visit the Zakkendragerhuisje which was built in 1653. It was the guild house for the Grain House Carriers, who loaded and unloaded the ships. They would gather in front of the guild house and when the bell on top went off, it indicated that they were needed for one of the ships. The house currently houses a museum where pewter manufacture is demonstrated.
  • The former Delfshaven Town Hall has been turned into a restaurant and small brewery called the Stadsbrouwerij de Pelgrim. Here you can enjoy a well deserved rest, some food and enjoy the beer that has been made using traditional methods.
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