Museum Prinsenhof Delft - Atlas Obscura

Museum Prinsenhof Delft

Now a museum, this building was once a 14th-century monastery and the place where the founder of the Dutch nation lived and was assassinated. 


Upon entering the Phoenixstraat gate, visitors to the Museum Prinsenhof Delft may be surprised to discover a serene garden and a 14th-century monastery hidden away in a narrow alleyway off from one of the canal streets. The museum is a literal hidden gem that showcases Dutch history, culture, and the famous Delftware.

The 15th-century former nunnery functioned as the home of Willem de Zwijger (Willem the Silent) in the late 16th century. He chose the city and the building as his home due to its relative safety from would-be killers, but it was for naught as he was killed there in 1584. Visitors today can still see the bullet holes in the wall, which have grown in size over the centuries due to countless visitors sticking their fingers in them.

The museum features an exhibition dedicated to William’s life and death as well as a variety of other exhibitions that showcase the rich history and culture of the Netherlands. There is a large collection of 17th-century Delftware, and a collection of Dutch art throughout the ages, including an exhibition dedicated to Vermeer.

Know Before You Go

Delft has a small medieval city center which is really not car friendly. Use a parking garage or better, public transport. It is an 8 minute walk from the train station or you can take Tram 1. Check the website for prices and discounts.

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August 28, 2016
January 26, 2024

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