Delft has a historical inner city. In Dutch history, Delft is mainly known because William of Orange resided in the city from 1572, and was murdered there in 1584. Ever since, members of the Dutch royal family are usually buried in Delft. Delft’s nickname is the ‘City of Princes’. Delft and the royal family have been connected for hundreds of years. It is the city where the ‘Father of the Fatherland’ William of Orange took refuge in 1572, after his flight from Breda, and where he was murdered twelve years later.
During the Golden Age, the economy, art and science were booming in Delft. The city played an important part in the establishment of the VOC (Dutch East India Company) in 1602, and became one of the six cities where the VOC located one of its Chambers. The world-famous Delft Blue emerged in 17th-century Delft, and famous Dutch masters such as Johannes Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch and Carel Fabritius lived or worked here. Delft was also an important city for scientific research during the Golden Age. Several scientists from Delft, including Hugo de Groot, Reinier de Graaf and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, are still internationally acclaimed for their work.