Delft City Hall
Delft City Hall on the Markt was designed by municipal architect Hendrick de Keyser (1565 -1621) in the 17th century after the old, medieval building burnt down in 1618. De Keyser was considered one of the best architects of his time. He left two architectural landmarks in Delft: the grave monument of Prince William of Orange at the Nieuwe Kerk and City Hall on the Markt. Even today Delft City Hall, which faces the Nieuwe Kerk, is one of the city’s most distinctive monuments.
City Hall architecture
Delft City Hall, which was completed by Hendrick de Keyser in 1620, is a perfectly balanced, virtually symmetrical building in the Renaissance style. It was built around the late Gothic count’s tower that dates from the 13th century. It is clearly visible at the back of the building. ‘Het Steen’, as the tower is named, was used as a prison. It still houses a medieval prison including the torture instruments. This can be visited with a tour guide by appointment only.
City Hall’s history
City Hall is where Johannes Vermeer fulfilled his pre-marriage requirements (‘ondertrouw’) with his wife to be, Catharine Bolnes. In medieval times the trading centre was located behind City Hall. The Stadsboterhuis, where real Dutch butter was traded, can be found on Markt 17. Real butter was one of the city’s main export products at the time. Markt 11 houses the weighing house or ‘Stadswaag’, which weighed all goods heavier than ten pounds. In the 18th century the building accommodated the gold and silversmith guild and the pharmacist guild. Today it houses a city pub, but the memorial stones in the front and back facades commemorate the guilds.