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14 March 2015 @ 04:50 pm
Delft's Churches  
More photos of Delft

Delft has two major protestant churches, the Oude Kirk which as been around since about 1200 but whose current building was started in 1246, and the Niewe Kirk (built between 1396 and 1496). It also has Catholic church, Maria van Jesse, which looks pretty impressive but apparently has limited opening hours while the Oude and Niewe Kirk are completely geared up for tourists with gift shops, information displays and the like. The Niewe Kirk has the second tallest church spire in the Netherlands. Only 60 people are allowed up the spire at a time and I was a little bemused at what 60 people could possibly be doing up there, but it transpired that they were mostly attempting to pass each other going up and down on the long narrow spiral staircase.

The Niewe Kirk bells play tunes, somewhat to my surprise, all of Saturday no doubt to the annoyance of the locals. The walking tour kept mentioning the carillon - "On your right you see the carilloneur's house, where junior carilloneurs were given lessons" or "The carillon consists of 48 clocks (sic, though I think it means bells) and was made by Francois Hemon in 1660 and is called the Stradivarius of the carillons." I had no idea what a carillon was, however on ducking into an alcove in the spire in order to allow people to pass I came across the below:

Suddenly I realised it was the carillon playing all the tunes with the bells. Wikipedia tells me that carillons can be manual (and seem to be played a bit like an organ) or automatic (presumably the apparatus here which looks like a large music box mechanism). This would, presumably, explain the junior carilloneurs.

This is the outside of the spire, where you can see the bells hanging. You can also see the transition from the black weathered sand stone on the side that faces the prevailing wind to the stones natural colour on the sheltered side.

This is the view south from the top of the spire, over the Maria van Jesse church, looking towards the university. The tall building sort of centrallish on the skyline is the Computer Science building (shared with Mathematics and various student services). The office I was in was about half way up it on the 12th floor. I sent this photo to Corporate Comms who wanted a "postcard from Delft" but it was rejected because it lacks the presence of any member of University of Liverpool staff.

Not to be outdone by the Niewe Kirk's spire and carillon, the Oude Kirk contrives to lean. This appears to be because one side is built on filled in canal and, presumably in 1246, mankind's grasp of the art of making foundations wasn't what it is now. The spire was built between 1325 and 1350 and started leaning during construction. Apparently the four little corner spires were rebuilt in 1900 and are actually perpendicular.

I rather liked the clean lines and white plaster of the interior of the Oude Kirk. The pulpit may be "one of the most beautiful in the Netherlands" dating from 1548 and a survivor of the iconoclastic fury (when protestants dashed about smashing things in churches). I wasn't sure though since there were two carved pulpits inside the church and the one tucked away in a corner was more elaborately carved, though less elaborately constructed than the one here.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/147951.html.
fififolle: Anyone? Ferris Bueller Iconfififolle on March 14th, 2015 08:32 pm (UTC)
I love looking at pulpits :D
louisedennislouisedennis on March 15th, 2015 04:23 pm (UTC)
The other was much prettier, I though, but my photo is all blurred for some reason.