Beeldenstorm spread to Delft

August 24, 1566

In the northern part of the Spanish Empire, the purification of Catholic churches by Protestants began in the summer of 1566, the miracle year (wonderjaar). In its second phase at the end of the month, the iconoclasm spread north, and included Delft.

On August 24, 1566, a group of men led by Adriaan Michiels Menninck and his brother-in-law Klaas Duyst entered the Oude Kerk in Delft and began the process of removing as much of the taint of Catholicism as they could. The image on the right (click to enlarge) shows how it happened in Antwerp earlier in the month. The iconoclasts burned the church's jewels on the open Markt.

The process took until the following spring to play itself out. It took another seven years until the Delft churches were declared totally free of idolatrous images, goodless superstition, and false ceremonies.

By then, an enormous amount of cultural heritage had been destroyed.