The Hague (Den Haag in Dutch) is the third-largest city in the Netherlands and the country’s capital. It is well-known for being the official residence of the Dutch government and the home of the Royal Family. Furthermore, The Hague has maintained much of its historical charm. There is plenty to see and do in The Hague, which is rich in history, art, and museums, among other things.
Numerous embassies and the headquarters of several international organizations – including the United Nations International Court of Justice – are located here. While it lacks the edginess and excitement of Amsterdam, the capital city, its beautiful parks, and its fascinating architecture are all well worth a visit regardless of the reason for your visit.
Lange Voorhout (Long Voorhout)
The picturesque Lange Voorhout neighborhood is located in the heart of The Hague. There are many important 18th century buildings along this wide street lined with beautiful trees. Several embassies, the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, and the Escher Museum are among the buildings on the list. Lange Voorhour is also an excellent location for taking a stroll or simply relaxing and taking in the sights and sounds of The Hague.
The Mauritshuis Museum
One of the most important art museums in the Netherlands is housed within this classical structure. It was built in 1636 and now houses an extensive collection of art and artifacts from the Dutch Golden Age, including over 800 objects. There are several notable works on display, including Rembrandt’s Anatomy Lesson, Rogier van der Weyden’s Lamentation, Vermeer’s The Girl with a Pearl Earring, and works by Velazquez and Rubens.
Known as the Binnenhof, the gothic castle that houses it is the world’s oldest continuously operating House of Parliament, built-in 1250. Located along the Hofvijver lake, this irregularly shaped complex of buildings is organized around a central courtyard with a water feature. Take a tour of the Rolzaal courthouse, the Lairessezaal, which features paintings by Gerard de Lairesse from the 17th century, and the First and Second Chambers. Also worth a visit is the magnificent Ridderzaal, also known as the Knights’ Hall, which dates back to the 13th century. This Gothic-style hall with two towers, reserved for special occasions, is richly decorated with intricate details, including an ornate throne and a plethora of spectacular stained-glass windows.
He was a well-known Dutch graphic artist of the twentieth century whose works are characterized by their impossibly large scale. He is best known for using mathematics and geometry in his art, which can be seen in the Escher in Het Paleis, a museum dedicated to him. This former royal palace now houses 150 of Escher’s most famous prints, woodcuts, mosaics, landscape paintings, and photographs. Furthermore, visitors can participate in an interactive optical illusion experience, in which they can “see things through Escher’s eyes.”
The Mesdag Museum, housed in the former residence of Dutch painter Hendrik Willem Mesdag, contains an excellent collection of works by Mesdag and his wife, Sientje Mesdag-Van Houten. The Panorama Mesdag, housed within the dome, is the building’s focal point. This massive painting, which measures more than 400 feet and 45 feet in height, depicts coastal Scheveningen as it appeared in the late nineteenth century.
The Peace Palace
Many critical legal organizations, including the International Court of Justice, are housed in The Hague’s imposing Peace Palace (Vredespaleis). It was built in 1913 by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and is a blend of Gothic and Neoclassical styles. It was dedicated in 1913. Some of the richly decorated interiors were made possible by contributions from various countries, including marble from Italy, ornamental ironwork from Germany, and wood paneling from Brazil and the United States. Additionally, it contains statues and busts of notable individuals, such as Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
The manor house at Landgoed Clingendael is a stunning piece of architecture, but the magnificent gardens surrounding it are the true highlight of the property. They are open all year (and admission is free), and they include a picnic area, a large playground, and several beautiful gardens. A beautifully landscaped English garden with a tearoom adjacent to it is among these. Aside from that, the park is home to the only Japanese Garden in the Netherlands. Because of its fragility, it is only open for eight weeks each year (from April to June and from October). The garden was designed by Marguérite M. Baroness van Brienen, also known as Lady Daisy, in 1910 due to her travels to Japan at the time.