Thorbecke Monument Lange Voorhout

Thorbecke wants it

Several times a week I cross the Haagse Thorbeckelaan, a beautiful avenue that borders my neighbourhood, the Vruchtenbuurt. Having recently read the interesting biography ‘Thorbecke wants it’, I know more about the man after whom this avenue is named: Johan Rudolph Thorbecke. Johan Rudolph Thorbecke Thorbecke was born in 1798 in Zwolle. His immediate family …

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Provincie Zuid-Holland Provinciehuis

Province of Zuid-Holland

When I was in school I wrote my name on every fresh notebook. And often also a series of “addresses”: the place where I lived, the province, the Netherlands, Europe, The World ….. I now live in the province of Zuid-Holland and it is time for me to take a look into the origins of …

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Johan van Oldenbarnevelt

Johan van Oldenbarnevelt

The courtyards of The Hague’s Binnenhof are often crowded.  Tourists are touring, activists may be protesting or supporting one cause or another, and journalists are chasing politicians for interviews. But in general the atmosphere is friendly, with at most some verbal abuse. The beheading of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, 1619, anonimous 1619* Yet blood has flowed …

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Maquette Joodse Buurt

Jewish neighbourhood The Hague

If we want to learn something about history, we usually read texts or look at photos. Rarely there is the possibility to view something in three dimensions. In The Hague we have such a unique opportunity, thanks to the model of the Jewish Neighbourhood which can be admired in the Atrium of the town hall …

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Simon Stevin in Brugge

Simon Stevin

Every July I leave The Hague for a week of singing in beautiful Bruges. On Simon Stevin Square in Bruges are restaurants, many with terraces, that serve mussels or Flemish stew.  Whilst sitting there and enjoying myself I realized that Simon Stevin’s journey was just the other way around: from Bruges to The Hague. Simon …

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Students' union of The Hague

The Hague Students’ Union

A few months ago I wrote an article about the family firm Zondag, wine and spirit merchants and distillery at Westeinde in The Hague. Not long after, I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from Fred Andrioli. He told me that in the sixties Zondag had been an important supplier of the Haagsche Studenten …

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Louis Couperus in The Hague 1

Louis Couperus in The Hague

I like to curl up on the couch with a book. One of my favorites is ‘Old People and the Things That Pass’ by Louis Couperus. It’s a book I like to revisit regularly. Louis Couperus Louis Couperus – a descendant of a long line of Colonial civil servants and administrators – was born in …

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Westeinde Distilleerderij Zondag

Zondag Distillery

Here in The Hague I often notice company names on shopfronts that differ from the company that is currently doing business in the shop or building. This always triggers my curiosity and I try to find out more about the history of the building. That’s what I did after spotting the building on Westeinde 10, …

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Freemasonry Museum

I’m a great fan of small museums – particularly those that tell a story. The Hague is fortunate to have a number of these museums, including the unique Freemasonry Museum. Here you can learn about the past and present of the fraternal order known as The Grand Orient of the Netherlands. Freemasonry in The Hague …

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Queen Wilhelmina

Queen Wilhelmina – her silhouette

During my guided tours through The Hague I often walk by the statue of Queen Wilhelmina, across from the Noordeinde Palace. If I do so in the company of Dutch people, their recognition is immediate: ‘Oh yes, Queen Wilhelmina!’ If I’m in the company of visitors from abroad they ask me hesitatingly ‘Is this a …

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