“The Hague” means “the forest of the Earl”, which was originally the hunting ground of the royal family in the 14th century and became the political center of the Netherlands until the 16th century. In addition, The Hague is home to many international organizations including the International Tribunal and the International Criminal Court. The International Court of Justice, which represents justice and peace, is located in the Peace Palace in The Hague. The city is full of royal luxury and political solemnity. There is also a modern and vibrant beach where you can experience the sunset on the sea by the Ferris wheel in addition to the magnificent old palaces and art palaces. Please follow me to know The Hague that is serious and casual.
1. Peace Palace
The Peace Palace is considered to be the capital of international law. The International Court of Justice, the International Permanent Court of Arbitration and the Hague Academy of International Law are located here. The construction of the Peace Palace stems from the ideals of pacifism and world peace because these ideas flourished at the end of the 19th century. At the door of the Peace Palace, there are the word “peace” in various languages. There some sculptures and “flame of peace” inside the palace. Around the “flame of peace”, there are various unique stones sent by about 200 countries around the world that are for praying for peace forever in the world. The dove of peace and the chair of the shape of shaking hands are interesting and fit the theme. There is a library with a rich collection of books in the Peace Palace.
2. Mauritshuis Museum of Fine Arts
The Mauritshuis Museum of Fine Arts has collected and exhibited many of the 17th century Dutch masterpieces including paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals. The most famous work among the works is Vermeer’s <Girl with Pearl Earrings> and Rembrandt’s <Anatomy Lesson>. There are a lot of Rembrandt’s works including many of his self-portraits, religions and ancient Greek paintings. The Dutch paintings are mainly known for portraits that is also the theme of art museum collections. In addition, there are fewer religious and historical paintings. The collection in the museum show you the characters, scenery, customs and life of the Dutch golden age.
The Dutch parliament building is located next to Plein Square in The Hague. It was a castle built in the thirteenth century. It was the residence of the Count of the Netherlands and became the Dutch parliament building after the 16th century. Since 1446, it has been the place where Dutch Parliament hold the meeting and the political center of the Netherlands for many centuries. This Gothic building has a heavy log roof and is structured like an overturned boat. The wooden avatar that symbolizes the eavesdropper from higher powers can deter the members of the assembly and prevent them from lying. Every year on the third Tuesday of September – the Prince’s Day, the Dutch monarch take a carriage ride to make a speech.
Scheveningen is the most famous seaside resort in the Netherlands. Along the waterfront is the luxurious restaurants, The Hague Coffee Shop, gift shops and amusement parks. There is also the Casino nearby, which allow visitors to fully enjoy the comfortable leisure life. Unlike the usual busy beaches, everything on Scheveningen Beach is so relaxing and comfortable, and occasionally you can see the mighty female Mounted Police riding a high horse, which add a lot of color to the laid-back atmosphere. There are often music and sporting activities in Scheveningen as well as breathtaking fireworks (fireworks display in the weekend of August each year), live music performances and a vibrant nightlife.
5. Madurodam Miniature City
The famous Madurodam Miniature City is a great place to learn about the unique scenery of the Netherlands. You can see all models of canal houses, tulip fields, cheese markets, windmills, peace palaces and delta projects. It is a miniature city of only 1.8 square meters with 66,000 residents less than 10 centimeters living here. Every famous landscape, figure, tree, etc. in the Netherlands is miniature here at a ratio of 1:25. The Madurodam Miniature city is divided into three theme areas: urban, water and innovative islands. It is not only a paradise for children, but also a dream garden for adults to find innocence and happiness.
6. The Hague Square
The Hague Square is the heart of the city of The Hague, which is next to the Parliament, the famous Moritas Art Gallery and government buildings. And to its north is the bars and coffee shops. The Hague Square is not too big like many city squares in Europe. However there are many restaurants and cafes around, which makes it a good choice for a casual meal.
7. Kijkduin Beach Resort
The Kijkduin Beach Resort is located on the North Sea beach in South Holland and is one of the two largest beaches in The Hague. It’s less famous compared to the other beach – Scheveningen. There is a big wild park behind the beach.
8. Dutch Queen’s Palace
The Queen’s Palace was built in the 17th century with a statue of a horse in front of the palace that was still made by William II. The horse-riding statue was designed by a Dutch-born French sculptor and was cast in Paris in 1845. After the casting, it was exhibited on the Champs Elysées for a few days before being shipped to The Hague. The Queen’s Palace is the place where the Queen of the Netherlands usually works. Some festival activities also take place in the palace. If the Dutch flag rises from the roof of the palace, it means that the Queen is here.
9. Ancient Town City
The Old Town Hall was built in 1564 in a Renaissance style and has been expanded in later generations. There is now a new town hall in The Hague, but the new born children of the royal family are still registered here, and the registration of marriages in The Hague is still here. In the 16th century, the citizens had discussed the construction of the city wall or the city hall. Finally, the citizens decided to build the city hall instead of building the city wall. During the eighty years of war, the Spanish army easily won the Hague without walls.
10. The Hague Municipal Museum
The Hague Municipal Museum has the world’s largest work of Pete Mondrian, whose most famous is the abstract work <The Dance of Victory>. It is also the hall of modern art. The works of Monet, Picasso, Egon Schiller, Kandinsky, Louis Bourgeois, Francis Bacon and many other masters are collected here.
The architecture of the Hague City Museum is beautiful and built in an Art Deco style. The architect of the building was the famous Dutch architect Hendrik Petrus Berlage. It’s the last work of his life, which was completed in 1935.