One could say the founding father of the Netherlands was William of Orange (Willem van Oranje). He played an important role in freeing the Netherlands from the brutal reign of King Felipe the 2nd of Spain who sent his General Alva to suppress the rise of Protestantism and ensure that Catholicism remained the sole religion.
While visiting the Prinsenhof Museum you’ll learn all about him!
“Het Prinsenhof” in Delft was once a Women’s Monastery called Saint Agatha until a large portion of it was made available to William of Orange so he would be safe within the city walls of Delft.
That safety turned out to just be relative as he was assassinated by a man called Balthasar Gerards. While descending the stairs to have dinner Balthasar managed to bypass security and shot William of Orange twice.
William died instantly although for a long time it was believed that his dying words were “God have mercy with me and this poor people”. That was determined practically impossible after a research team exhumed the body from the nearby located “New Church” (Nieuwe Kerk). The damage to William of Orange’s chest was so extensive that it would have been a miracle if the man managed to utter more than some gurgling sounds.
Now, the Monastery of Saint Agatha is a museum, dedicated to the life and death of William of Orange and the history of the city of Delft. It’s full of stories, paintings, artifacts and the actual bullet holes in the wall, the silent witnesses of his assassination.
The multilingual audio guide adds another layer of information and story telling.
While visiting the Prinsenhof Museum you’ll be in Delft. Don’t miss out on anything while visiting Delft and book a guided tour!
Your guide will tell you all there is to know about William of Orange and his role in the battle of the Protestants during the Eighty Years’ War.