Highlights of The Hague
Of course we are willing to show you some of the highlights of The Hague.
These highlights are part of our history so they are part of our lives. However, The Hague Greeters also want to show the things that you will not find in a guidebook or are hard to discover if you are just wandering about.
Chickens and other poultry, as well as pigs, were traded on the ‘Korte Beestenmarkt’ – literally translated as ‘Short animal market’.
On the ‘Lange Beestenmarkt’ horses and cows went to new owners (which of course is ‘long animal market’).
In order to suppress the penetrating air of manure, traders started brewing all kinds of alcoholic beverages. The air of the alcohol was stronger than that of manure and there was a lot of extra money.
The last city brewery is Van Kleef, brewery and seller of natural alcohol drinks like ‘jenever, walnut liqueur and many – many other flavors. The interior is still very similar to that of a few centuries ago.
Houses of Parliament
That is what we call our parliament buildings, with eye-catchers the Ridderzaal (hall of knights), the buildings of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the ‘Torentje’ (little tower) of the Prime Minister.
The Ridderzaal was the first building of the present Binnenhof, completed at the end of the 12th century as a party palace of the count’s court.
It is worthy to have a better look at the fountain at the Binnenhof, donated by wealthy inhabitants of The Hague as a token of appreciation of the (then) renovations to the buildings. The fountain was designed by P.J.H. Cuypers and is regularly the place where visitors and Greeters meet.
The Peace Palace, opened in August 2013 and designed by French Louis Cordonnier, is part of the United Nations.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration is located in the Peace Palace.
Many of the building materials – both internal and external – have been donated by nations this way showing their support to the initiative of Andrew Carnegie.
The Peace Palace can only be visited for a number of weekends per year under the guidance of a guide. Interesting for tourists is the visitor center located at the entrance of the palace.
The icing on the cake.
That is what the kilometers of beaches are and all very close from the center of a city that has so much to offer. The beach is to both residents and visitors a very special element of The Hague.
Besides the more traditional beach activities (sunbathing and strolling) there are also many activities throughout the year. From the toughest beach race for motorcycles to a kite festival, fireworks evenings, surf schools and much, much more.
With public transport you reach the beach very easily and you have no parking problems!
The Hague has really hundreds of statues.
The photo shows the statue on Koningsplein.
In the center of the city you will find ‘the statue gallery’. A series of 40 ever-changing statues that gives a good impression of modern Dutch sculpture.
Other famous Hague sculptures are those of ‘the founder of our kingdom’ Willen van Oranje.
you will find the equestrian statue at the Noordeinde and another statue on Plein.
Hall of Knights
Hall of Knights (Ridderzaal)
The Ridderzaal was opened around 1288 and currently mainly has a ceremonial function. The best known and most important is when his majesty the king the speech of the throne during Prinsjesdag – the opening of the parliamentary year.
Also athletes who won an Olympic medal are honored in the Ridderzaal and usually receive a knighthood.
The Ridderzaal was built by order of count Willem II and delivered under count Floris the Fifth.
Hollands Spoor railway station is the oldest station in The Hague and dates from 1843. Since 1843 Amsterdam and The Hague are thus allianced by rail.
In 1891 the original building was replaced by the current station, designed by Dirk Margadant.
In addition to the striking architecture, the Royal Waiting Room, which was put into operation in 1893, is very special.
The waiting room is open to the public during the Open Monument Day.