Delft was founded in 1075 and charter
ed in 1246. In the 16th and 17th century
Delft was a trade centre with its own port, Delfshaven
. It was famous for a characteristic tin-glazed pottery, Delftware
. In the 18th century Delft was superseded by the nearby Rotterdam
Many famous Dutch people lived or were born in Delft: Piet Hein, Antony van Leeuwenhoek, Maarten Tromp and the painter Vermeer. Most of the Dutch royal family lies buried in the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church).
Delft is a major tourist attraction. With its old buildings and canals it looks like a smaller Amsterdam. Also Delftware is well known all over the world and two factories manufacturing the pottery can be visited.
Other sites of interest are the Renaissance-style town hall (1618; around a medieval tower), the Armamentarium (a 17th-century armoury) and the Prinsenhof (an old convent, which was later the residence of William the Silent, who was shot there- the bullet holes are still visible. Nowadays it houses a museum.)
In modern times Delft is also famous for the Delft University of Technology. The presence of this university has led to an idiotic amount of students' societies and an even larger amount of dilapidated bicycles.