[key], city, South Holland prov., W Netherlands. It has varied industries
and is noted for its ceramics (china, tiles, and pottery) known as
delftware. Founded in the 11th cent. and chartered in 1246, Delft was an
important commercial center until superseded (17th cent.) by Rotterdam. The aspect of old Delft
has changed little since Jan Vermeer, who was born and lived there
(17th cent.), painted his famous View of Delft. The city's
notable buildings include a 13th-century Gothic church (Oude Kerk); the
Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (15th cent.), with the tombs of William the Silent, who
was assassinated in Delft, and the humanist Hugo Grotius, who was born there; and the
17th-century town hall. Delft has a technical university.
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