Royal Tour The Hague
The Hague Royal city | The residence of the Royal Family for centuries
The Hague is a royal city with a high feel-good factor. After all, you might spontaneously encounter members of the Royal Family on the street or in one of ‘their’ stores. You’ll also stumble upon the House of Orange; the many historical monuments, the presence of residential and working palaces, royal thoroughfares and horse-drawn coaches.
Step through the famous entry gate into the historical Binnenhof (Inner Court) in the heart of our democracy. This is the place where the most important events in the nation’s history took place. It is also where the future is created. The Inner Court in The Hague is studded with monumental old buildings testifying of eight centuries of governing in the Low Countries, but it also has several ample open spaces, all freely open to the public. The Binnenhof is a must-see if you’re in The Hague. Take a stroll through the courtyard and admire the fairytale-like splendour or take the time to take a tour through the various halls. You won’t be disappointed!
The Palace Noordeinde (‘Paleis Noordeinde’) with its gracefully landscaped garden is situated on the Noordeinde. Compared to other European palaces, Noordeinde is modest and enjoys a wonderful location on one of The Hague’s shopping streets. After looking at the latest fashion, you could suddenly find yourself at the gates of this working palace. The chic Noordeinde district of Willem-Alexander’s working palace is primarily known for its distinctive fashion boutiques, galleries and art and antiques dealers, located in beautiful art nouveau buildings. Jewellers, antique dealers and galleries are interspersed with coffee cafés and restaurants, which makes Noordeinde worth visiting for anyone.
Palace Huis ten Bosch
Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague has been the residential palace of the Dutch Royal Family since 1981. The palace is located in the Haagse Bos forest. The palace is one of three official residences of the Royal Family, the other two being Noordeinde Palace in The Hague and the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. Huis ten Bosch Palace was untill 2014 the home of Princess Beatrix. It was made available to then Queen Beatrix in 1981. At some point in the future, King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and their three daughters will move to the palace. Rumour has it that the palace pond is where Willem Alexander proposed to Maxima on the ice in 2001. His great-grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina, also skated here as a young queen. The Oranjezaal in Huis ten Bosch Palace houses a unique collection of paintings from the Golden Age. In the years 1648-1652 by commission from Amalia van Soms and under the direction of the architect and painter Jacob van Campen, twelve artists worked on tens of canvasses, panels and dome paintings. All of this was in homage to her husband stadtholder Frederik Hendrik, who had died shortly beforehand. The iconographic programme of the interior paintings, connected by these thoughts, is unsurpassed in stature, quality and theme in the Netherlands.The Oranjezaal is now also available to view in 3D on Google Street View.
Feel the warmth of the peace flame on your back as you admire the most photographed building in The Hague: the Peace Palace. It is the seat of the International Court of Justice, the only judicial organ of the United Nations not located in New York, and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. This beautiful Neo-Renaissance style building, which was actually the winning design of an architecture competition in the early nineteen hundreds, and the organisations it houses have given The Hague worldwide recognition as the international city of Peace and Justice.
The Eternal Peace Flame burns beside the entrance to the Peace Palace. The first peace flame in the Netherlands was placed beside the entrance gates to the Peace Palace on 18 April 2002. The monument bears the inscription: “May all beings find peace”. Since 2004, the monument has been surrounded by the World Peace Path, which consists of a path of 196 large and small stones from 196 countries. Some of these stones are unique: they include, for example, a piece of stone from the Berlin Wall and a stone from Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for many years.
Lange Voorhout Palace
Lange Voorhout Palace was designed in 1760 by the architect Pieter de Swart for Anthony Patras (1718-1764), a deputee to the States General of the Netherlands. In 1848 it was bought by Prince Henry. After his death in 1879 his widow Princess Marie of Prussia used the palace and probably lived there till 1885.
Princess Sophie of the Netherlands inherited the palace and in 1896 Queen Emma bought it from her sister-in-law. She had it renovated and rebuilt before moving in the palace in 1901. Like prince Henry queen-mother Emma used the palace as a winter palace; in the summer she stayed at Soestdijk. The palace was used as an office for Wilhelmina, Juliana and till 1984 for Beatrix. In 1991, princess Juliana sold the building to the municipality of The Hague on condition that it would only be used for cultural activities.
The L-shaped Lange Voorhout in The Hague merits its reputation as one of the finest urban ensembles in Europe. Its rows of linden trees were first planted by Emperor Charles V, and are supposed to have inspired the layout of Berlin’s great boulevard Unter den Linden. It was here in the 17C and 18C that the famous and fashionable came to see and be seen, particularly during the Sunday church parade.
Close your eyes and it’s easy to imagine the clip-clopping of hooves of the many horses that once rode along this shell-lined lane. Proudly trotting in front of the coach of their monarch, count or duke.
There is a charming quality to its surroundings. The hundred year old buildings flanking its sides are now homes to various embassies, residences, offices and various cultural institutions. The summer and autumn months lend its gravel walkways to various exhibits of great works from artists all over the world. The Escher Museum awaits at the end where one can unravel the Dutch artist’s mysteries on optical illusions, and on Prince’s Day the Golden Carriage passes down Lange Voorhout en route to the Hall of the Knights.
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