Assassinations (Or: Travel back to 1584)

Imagine coming down the stairs from dinner, and seeing a French nobleman at the bottom. Someone who you thought was on your side – but was in reality pointing a pistol at your chest and shooting at close range, killing you.

In 1584.

This was the fate of William the Silent, one of the leaders who revolted against the Spanish in the 16th century. He died after a reward was placed on his head and someone decided to track him down and kill him for it.

Another one of the places that Marco, Roger, and I visited in Delft was Prinsenhof, as mentioned in an earlier blog post. Inside was the site of the assassination – including the original staircase where he died and a few bullet holes which were embedded into the wall.

William the Silent's assassination site in Prinsenhof

Another thing that I enjoyed in this museum was a electronic, touchscreen newspaper with typical news that would be seen in that time period. Complete with quizzes I did miserably on!

There was also a vertical banner hanging from the ceiling with the various words of the Wilhelmus, the Dutch national anthem. It’s an acrostic, which means that the first letter of each stanza spells out a phrase – in this case Willem van Nazzov in Dutch or William of Nassau in the English version.

And at the end, you sign a guestbook to record your visit. If you look close, you’ll find the names of Marco, Roger, and myself!

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