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The Cover
September 11, 2002

A View of Delft After the Explosion of 1654

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2002;288(10):1200-1201. doi:10.1001/jama.288.10.1200

Like the rest of Holland at mid-17th century, the town of Delft was thriving. Situated between The Hague to the north and Rotterdam to the south, it was a place of sober and hard-working burghers; many were refugees from the southern Netherlands, where they had refused to live under Spanish rule. True, the country was still at war with France and England, but Delft seemed little affected. Its brewers, cloth weavers, ceramic workers, and painters pursued their occupations in peace and security. It was perhaps for just this reason, that Delft seemed so distant from the ongoing wars, that it was chosen to store munitions. Half a dozen depots were scattered throughout the city, among them the former convent of the Poor Clares, which the nuns had abandoned some years earlier. Located in the northeastern section of the town, it was a comfortable distance from the center of the city and from its landmarks such as the public market place, the Town Hall, the Oude Kirk and the Nieuwe Kirk, and the St Luke's Guild Hall.