What’s hiding in Delft?: Winkeltje Kouwenhoven

​This nostalgic little shop will take you back in time as you step inside.
Mr. Kouwenhoven originally opened a shop on the Verwersdijk in Delft in 1867, selling coal and painting supplies. Mr. Herstel took over in the 1930s and built a complete paint factory behind the store, and also began selling drugstore items.

The shop was known for selling glass, chemicals, school supplies and sweets too; a wide range of products in one store, as was common in those days. In 1985 Museum Prinsenhof bought the business and moved the interior, most of which dates from 1931, to its current location on Sint Agathaplein.

Nowadays it’s as much a museum as it is a shop. “It’s the town history section of Museum Prinsenhof,” explained Nel Klees, volunteer.

The high ceiling, old counter and cabinets all contribute to the authentic atmosphere. The original linseed oil and turpentine tanks are displayed along with old photos, pharmacy items, oil lamp parts, advertisements and genuine boxes and tins from the era.

A ‘gaper’ – a wooden head that used to indicate a pharmacy – still has a place inside too.

Nostalgic toys, soap and postcards are for sale; but it’s the traditional Dutch sweets lined up in jars that catch the eye. “The cinnamon kaneelkussentjes and kaneelstokjes are popular old Dutch sweets. Foreigners don’t like the liquorice much because it’s not sweet,” said Klees. “For €1 you can get 100 grams of sweets and you can choose what you like from the jars.” Weighed on old-fashioned scales and served in a paper cone, they make a visit worthwhile.

Winkeltje Kouwenhoven is open from 13:00 to 17:00 every day except Mondays.

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