Unlike Utrecht which oozes gregarious vibes, The Hague exudes regal charms and sophistication.
It’s expectable, given its status as the home of United Nations’ International Court of Justice and the international Criminal court with the headquarters in the Peace Palace.
The third largest city in the Netherlands, The Hague is only 45 minutes by train from Utrecht http://gotthefridgemagnet.com/?p=11411
I was realistic enough not to expect to see everything on a day trip. We headed straight for Peace Palace from the station, discovering some interesting buildings and sights on the way
From The Hague Central to Peace Palace
When we walked through a park along the busy Koningskade and I saw the colourful bench and then the equally colourful contraption on Casuariestraat. I had no idea of its purpose but it sure was eye-catching
Lange Voorhout, a tree-lined avenue flanked by some imposing buildings including the British Embassy, Kloosterkerk – a 14th century Monastery Church, and a statue of the Dutch novelist and poet Louis Couperus
Across the road from Lange Voorhout, this stately building appeared! It’s Kneuterdijk Palace, a former royal palace built in 1716. It’s now the seat of the Council of State
Paleis Noordeinde (Noordeinde Palace)
This 16th century palace is the King’s place of work. It’s one of the three official palaces of the Dutch royal family. Outside the palace, there’re overhanging crowns all along the street
Vredespaleis (Peace Palace)
We made it to the palace shortly before noon. Only the Visitors’ Centre was open to the public. The view of the Palace would have been the same as photos I took from outside the gate, so we gave it a miss and had a nice lunch in town instead!
The Hofvijver (Court Pond)
This charming artificial lake is in the centre of The Hague by Binnenhof and the Mauritshuis Museum.
I was drawn as if by magnet as soon as I set my eyes on it !! There was a photo opportunity every other step as I walked around it!
Mauritshuis Museum stands at the far end of Hofvijver. It’s described as the most beautiful museum in The Hague and it’s easy to see why.
It’s home to many renowned Dutch masterpieces including Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring
Binnenhof (Inner Court)
Binnenhof is a complex of government buildings which I was eager to explore, especially the Ridderzaal (Knights’ Hall). Unfortunately once I passed the impressive Binnenhof entrance gate, I came up against the curse of the barriers signalling closure for renovation again!! Just a tantalising glimpse of the sideway view of the Ridderzaal!
Koninklijke Schouwburg (Royal Theatre)
The Hague is definitely a city of culture with museums, theatres, sculptures and monuments everywhere.
Panorama Mesdag is an art museum featuring Dutch master Hendrik Mesdag’s striking 360° painting of Scheveningen beach at The Hague in the 19th century. It was on my to-see list, alas there’s not enough time!
Gevangenpoort is a former gate and medieval prison now a museum. The ice cream parlour next to the lighting shop was a boon on a scorching afternoon of 26°C!!
Finally, my mementos of this fleeting visit…another fridge magnet and me at my favourite spot!