The Hague is the seat of government in The Netherlands, and the capital city of the province of South Holland. With a population just over 500.000 inhabitants (as of 1 November 2012) and more than one million inhabitants including the suburbs, it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The combined urban area of The Hague and Rotterdam, with a population of approximately 2.9 million, is the 206th largest urban area in the world and the most populous in the country.
The Hague is the seat of the Dutch government and parliament, the Supreme Court, and the Council of State, but the city is not the capital of the Netherlands which constitutionally is Amsterdam. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands is planned to live at Huis ten Bosch and works at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, together with Queen Máxima.
Most foreign embassies in the Netherlands and 150 international organisations are located in the city, including the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, which makes The Hague one of the major cities hosting the United Nations.
The Hague is situated very close to the sea, so the climate is strongly influenced by it, even more so than in other places in the Netherlands. This also means temperatures are slightly higher here than in the rest of the country. Because of the constant sea wind clouds dissolve rapidly and when rain does fall this is usually short-lived. Due the sea climate temperatures in May can differ from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius. We hope for nice weather. Please check the weather forecast here.
Sightseeing in the Hague
Guided tours of the Binnenhof, including the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights), Senate and House of Representatives, can be arranged through the ProDemos Visitors Centre. In addition, you can go to the Visitors Centre for guided and self-guided tours of political The Hague.
The Binnenhof ('Inner Court') is a complex of buildings in The Hague's city centre. At its centre, one finds the Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights) and the court is studded with monumental old buildings testifying to eight centuries of governing in the Low Countries.
The Binnenhof also has several ample open spaces, all freely open to the public. A gilt neogothic fountain adorns the main square and one of the few Dutch equestrian statues (of King William II) guards the main Stadtholder's Gate, which dates from around 1600.
The Binnenhof is where the House of Representatives meets, the Prime Minister works and the ministers hold their weekly consultations. Once a year, the Senate and the House of Representatives meet in the Ridderzaal in a joint session of the States General. This session takes place on the third Tuesday of September, i.e. ‘Prinsjesdag’, when the Dutch head of state presents the government’s plans for the coming year in the ‘Speech from the Throne
Address: Binnenhof 8a, Den Haag
The Peace Palace will celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2013 and has become the icon of The Hague, the International City of Peace and Justice. It is a beautiful building in which people are working on a daily basis towards world peace.
The Peace Palace in The Hague was built in 1913 with funds from a donation made by celebrated steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. It is home to a number of international judicial institutions, including the International Court of Justice (ICJ) or World Court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the renowned Peace Palace Library, as well as the Hague Academy of International Law, which attracts law students from all over the world every summer.
The Peace Palace is one of the most photographed landmarks of The Hague and is accessible to the public through guided weekend tours.
Address: Carnegieplein 2, 2517 KJ Den Haag
070 302 4242
Monument in The Hague
Noordeinde Palace has always been the residence of the reigning Stadtholder or monarch. The first inhabitant was Louise de Coligny, the last wife of William the Silent.
In the 17th century, Frederik Hendrik and Amalia van Solms had the Huis ten Bosch Palace built. Both palaces were in use until the beginning of the French rule, but from that time until World War II only Noordeinde Palace was used as a residence. During World War II Queen Wilhelmina lived in England. The palace was slightly damaged during the war.
After Queen Wilhelmina’s return she lived in a number of villas in Nieuwe Parklaan. Her daughter, Queen Juliana, never lived in Noordeinde Palace. Until 1977 the palace housed the Institute of Social Studies, but after drastic renovations Queen Beatrix chose to use this palace as her place of work in 1984. Left of Noordeinde Palace is number 66, the house where Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta lived before estate “De Horsten” became their residence.
Address & contact
Noordeinde 68 – 76
2514 GL The Hague
The biggest painting in the NetherlandsPanorama.
Mesdag is the oldest 19th-century panorama in the world still on its original site. See for yourself the vista of the sea, the dunes and Scheveningen as it appeared in 1880.
The panorama was painted by one of the most famous painters of the Hague School, Hendrik Willem Mesdag. It evokes an almost magical illusion of reality. Visitors find themselves on the top of the Seinpostduin in Scheveningen as it looked in 1880.
The view spreads out endlessly in all directions: to the fishing village with its lighthouse, over the North Sea and the beach with bomschuiten (flat-bottomed fishing boats), to the fashionable seaside resort, where bathing carriages with bathers are being rolled into the sea, over the dune landscape and to The Hague.
The panorama is a cylindrical painting more than 14 metres high and 120 metres in circumference with a surface of 1680 square metres. It is the biggest painting in the Netherlands.
Hendrik Willem Mesdag painted the panorama with the assistance of his wife Sientje Mesdag-van Houten and a number of other painters from the Hague School: Bernhard Blommers, Théophile de Bock and George Hendrik Breitner.
Panorama Mesdag is not only one of the biggest and most beautiful panoramas in the world, it is also the oldest 19th-century panorama still on its original site and is a unique cultural heritage.
Panorama Mesdag is an exclusive and truly unique location for hosting receptions or dinners. Treat your guests to a dinner in one of the rooms among the paintings of Hendrik Willem Mesdag.
2518 AA The Hague
Opening hours Monday to Saturday from 10.00 to 17.00 hrs.
Sunday from 12.00 to 17.00 hrs.
Royal Delft is the last remaining Delftware factory from the 17th century which still produces the famous Delft Blue according to centuries-old tradition.
The Royal Delft Experience takes the visitor on a modern journey through the world of the centuries-old earthenware. You are led from an audio-visual presentation on the history and production process, via a painting demonstration by a Royal Delft master painter to the factory where you can admire the authentic craftsmanship.
In addition, there is still a great deal more to see in the museum.
2628 AR Delft
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
The Gemeentemuseum Den Haag is world-renowned. You can visit a fabulous collection of modern art and dozens of exhibitions every year in a sensational building designed by the Dutch architect H.P. Berlage.