The steeple of the “Haagse Toren”

haagse torenSome time ago the steeple of the “Haagse Toren” ( tower of The Hague) wore a purple skirt. But now you can again admire it in all its splendour, as it is now freshly painted and ready for a new lease on life. This paint job stands in a long line of renovations and maintenance of this city landmark.

Hexagonal tower

The church of Saint James, originally built in the 14th century,  burned down in 1402. After it was rebuilt, a tower was added that has been a visual landmark in the Hague since 1425. And it is an exceptional tower. There are only two church towers in The Netherlands shaped hexagonally from top to bottom (the other tower can be found in Nieuwerkerk in Zeeland). The architect or master builder of the tower is unknown.

The steeple

grote kerk den haagWhen the tower was built, its steeple was in the Gothic style true to the fashion of the day. But lightning struck in 1539 and the tower was destroyed by fire. By 1542 we were living in Renaissance times and the tower was rebuilt according to Renaissance principles. It wasn’t the last time lightning found its way to the tower. It happened again in 1702.  Luckily a quick reacting Hagenaar was able to extinguish the flames.

Gothic revival and cast iron
haagse toren gietijzer
Source: reliwiki

The second half of the 19th century was the era of cast iron construction and the Gothic Revival in architecture. So in 1862 the tower of The Hague was crowned with a cast iron, neo- Gothic steeple. However, the iron structure proved to be much too heavy and caused the tower to crack. In 1957 this steeple was replaced with one more closely resembling its 16th century Renaissance character.

It is possible to climb the tower. Go and admire this wonderful building and the view it provides.

I wil tell you about the history of the buildings in The Hague during my guided walks and bicycle tours

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1 thought on “The steeple of the “Haagse Toren””

  1. My father Hendrik J.W. Didama indicated that in 1957, along with other people, he had been invited by the City of The Hague for a small celebration, celebrating the restoration of sorts. He said that his ancestor with family name Tolk had been involved in the building/renovation of the Tower, and a certification had been found with his name when the Tower was renovated. A new protocol with signatures of the attendees in 1957 had been cemented back into the place of the Tower. No time frame of the renovation had been given to me. H. Didama passed away without giving more information. I am not sure that there is any historical document that would verify this information? My name is Johanna S. Pontin-Didama, I live in Canada, Alberta. My email address is Thank you for reading my email message. I look forward to hearing from you… 😉

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