Experience a slice of history at Open Monument Day Delft

If you’re new to the city, or simply want to learn a little more about local history and heritage, then this event is for you.

What: OpenMonument Day

Where: Delft

When: September 13th and 14th

Price: Free

Party prognosis: 8

Open Monument Day is an annual event held in the second weekend of September. Thousands of historical buildings and sites are open to the public free of charge. Now in its 28th year, it has become one of the country’s largest cultural events. It attracted around 900,000 visitors last year nationwide. 

Stichting Open Monumentendag Delft (SOMD) is responsible for organising the event locally. “We hope to have thirty-five to forty locations open this year, with 10% of these being completely new to the programme. For example, the observatory on campus at TU Delft will be open for the first time,¨ says Marijke Tuurenhout, the chairwoman.

The theme this year is travel and you can expect to see some old style modes of transport cars, boats and buses. Keep an eye out for the trekvaart – a boat pulled by horse power along the side of a canal. Or you can take a ride on a horse and carriage. 

It’s not only officially registered monuments that will be open to the public, but also other buildings with a historical story. Places not ordinarily open to the public will also grant access on the day. For example, the late-Gothic water board building on Oude Delft with the coats of arms displayed outside. Or the oldest part of the city hall, the prison tower from the 13th century, which contains a jail cell complete with torture instruments. Many locations will also organise extra activities such as exhibitions, musical performances and guided tours.

Accessing all the sites will be free, but there may be a small charge for some of the extra activities or a turn on one of the old vehicles. 

With shopkeepers dressed up in historical costumes, a walking tour around the historical taverns of the city, and a cycle route in the direction of the Koperen Kat brewery – it looks set to be an entertaining weekend.

Don’t let the language barrier put you off. “I worked as a volunteer last year, and there was a big demand for information in English. This year, for the first time, I’m going to make sure it’s available,” says Sunny Nabialczyk, secretary of SOMD.Caroline Vermeulen

For more information see and You might also want to check out Delta’s essential survival guides to life and events in the Netherlands here


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