The blue and white porcelain from Delft is a globally well-known brand. While my wife and I spent time in the Rotterdam / Den Haag region, we just had to visit the Delft holy ground and visit the combined museum and factory tour. The Royal Delft Museum is sometimes also referred to as De Porceleyne Fles.
Royal Delft Museum – Location & Admission
The exhibition is located close to Delft Technical University. The easiest way to access is by car, there are free parking lots. You may also use the local transport connections to the Universtiy. The walking distance to Delft Station is some twenty minutes.
The visit itself is not guided, but there are time slots for the first parts of your visit with film shows (see below). Adult admission is 14 Euro. From Wednesday to Sunday, the museum is opening from 10:00 to 17:00 hrs. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the museum is opening 90 minutes later.
Royal Delft Museum – The Visit
Before you enter the museum part, you see two audiovisual (majorly movie) shows about the Royal Delft porcelain. It is quite a nice introduction to the exhibition. In general, you receive an audio guide, which is available in multiple languages.
Meet a Master Painter
After that, you can use the audio guide for a self-guided tour. I already loved the first stage of your visit, as you can watch a master painter during his in fact work. Royal Delft is still hand-painted (there is nowadays a “budget” line with printed items). The precision of the painter is fascinating – I also loved just to be able to watch her painting. The audio guide also tells you how each hand-painted item is individually marked, so that you can reconcile to the master painter later.
Royal Delft’s Finest
The second part of the self-guided museum visit introduces you to the products of the company, which ranges from huge paintings on tiles (which are worth several ten thousands of Euro) down to comparably small items. One of their classics is the Proud Mary, a composition of some items looking a bit like a lady. Royal Delft plates are, of course, also a very common exhibit.
You soon enter the royal collection, which is an impressive and rich collection of items. The audio guide is very helpful and gives you a lot of good information. There were also some interactive screens which give you additional guidance. I especially loved the commemorative plates for events like Christmas, inaugural flights or simply to commemorate kings and queens of the Netherlands. The country’s most famous rabbit, Miffy, is also part of the exhibition.
We absolutely loved the next stage of your visit, a stroll through the production site. In this area, you could not only see the different stages of the production, but also additional exhibits. The ovens, by the way, are the only automatically controlled (and thus: non-manual) part of the production. The production is active during your visit, so it is a really interesting experience.
After you leave the production site and head to the gift shop, you also pass an overview of the history of Royal Delft.
Special Exhibition: Royal Blue Tattoo
Before entering the production site, there was also an exhibition about Royal Blue Tattoo, tattoos inspired by Royal Delft. Interesting, but you need to be closer into the topic to really value it.
Royal Delft Museum – Shop & Brasserie
Of course, no factory tour is complete if you do not head right inside a store at the end of it. The shop of Royal Delft is huge and features a lot of items. You should be aware that all items are hand made luxury products – even the few items of the machine printed collections have a certain value. However, after visiting the museum and the factory tour, you indeed have a good feeling for the love and work which is necessary to produce one of the items.
Next to the shop is also a lovely bistro, where you can relax and have a drink or a snack.
Royal Delft Museum – My View
Of course, the Royal Delft Museum is in fact a museum and a factory tour. However, you just don’t feel like that. I am not too much into arts, I am not at all in porcelain – but this place absolutely fascinated me. We loved our visit there – the tour is great, the museum is partially breathtaking. Royal Delft is very traditional (dated as of 1653), but feels very modern as well. If you are around, I absolute recommend you to visit the place. There is no doubt that this gem deserves the Top Pick! award.
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