Royal Delft Experience: rhapsody in blue

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Delftware: the world-renowned Dutch pottery has been going strong for nearly 400 years. But even old brands have to move with the times. On Thursday Princess Margriet opened The Royal Delft Experience.

Royal Delft, or De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles, has been producing hand-painted pottery since 1653. It’s the only earthenware factory from the 17th century left in Delft – once there were more than thirty.

Fifteen years ago the factory’s workshop and collection were opened to the public. Since then it has welcomed 120,000 visitors from all over the world. So the company decided that a thorough refurbishment was needed to make Royal Delft even more attractive and accessible to visitors.

The Royal Delft Experience is a trip through the ages. The route begins in the 17th century with a multimedia presentation on the history of Delftware production techniques.

Visitors are then led through rooms with different themes, such as the authentically reproduced dining room of the old master Johannes Vermeer, and the Royal Treasury, with a collection of Delftware made specially for the Dutch royal house.

The tour also takes in the historic garden and the workshop, and master craftsmen demonstrate how Delftware is decorated.