The Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) is important, as it is the final resting place for most of our kings and queens of old, whose line began with William of Orange who was buried here after being assassinated in 1584. His grave monument is an impressive piece of sculpture and contains some very interesting symbolism. The Old Church is very much the heart of Delft and rumour has it that already in the 11th century there was a church building here. Various famous historical people are buried here: our maritime heroes Maarten Tromp, Michiel de Ruyter and Piet Heyn, the father of microbiology Anthony van Leeuwenhoek also rests here as well as Delft's most famous son: painter Johannes Vermeer.
Volendam may be the Netherlands' second biggest tourist attraction, and to be honest, it has a certain 'tourist trap' quality to it. But get yourself a self-guided walking tour, some really nice weather and a pair of open eyes and you really have a great time here. Of course, the harbour area ("Fisherman's Wharf") with all the souvenir shops and restaurants is a must see, but behind all that is a quaint, charming and quiet little village, with a great sense of identity which, incidentally, is well-known throughout the Netherlands. The walk takes you to some breathtaking scenic views of the Ijsselmeer, and also to one of my personal highlights, the well-maintained and beautiful little cemetary, with its very personal and touching memorials. There is also some very nice food available along the harbour with a view to die for. And to top it all off, at the end of the tour there is the Volendam museum with its collection of traditional dress, very attractively displayed in wonderfully atmospheric and nostalgic settings. Not to be missed is also the "Cigar Band house" contains a set of murals, entirely made from 7 million cigar bands. We really enjoyed our stay!