|City and Municipality|
|The Hague high-rises seen from the 'Plein', with statue of William the Silent|
|Nickname(s): Residentiestad (Residential City), Hofstad (Court city)|
|Motto: Vrede en Recht (Peace and Justice)|
|Location in South Holland|
|Coordinates: 52°5′N 4°19′E / 52.083°N 4.317°E / 52.083; 4.317Coordinates: 52°5′N 4°19′E / 52.083°N 4.317°E / 52.083; 4.317|
|8 Districts |
|Jozias van Aartsen (VVD)|
|List of aldermen |
|98.12 km2 (37.88 sq mi)|
|81.88 km2 (31.61 sq mi)|
|16.24 km2 (6.27 sq mi)|
|3,043 km2 (1,175 sq mi)|
|1 m (3 ft)|
|6,182/km2 (16,010/sq mi)|
|Hagenaar or Hagenees|
The Hague (Dutch: Den Haag pronounced ( listen) or 's-Gravenhage pronounced ( listen)) 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. Located in the west of the Netherlands, The Hague is in the centre of the Haaglanden conurbation and lies at the southwest corner of the larger Randstad conurbation.
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 lives 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, along with New York, Vienna, Geneva, Tokyo and Nairobi.Contents
The Hague originated around 1230, when Count Floris IV of Holland purchased land alongside a pond, the present-day Hofvijver, in order to build a hunting residence. In 1248 his son and successor William II, King of the Romans, decided to extend the residence to a palace, which would later be called the Binnenhof (Inner Court). He died in 1256 before this palace was completed, but parts of it were finished by his son Floris V, of which the Ridderzaal (Knights' Hall), still extant, is the most prominent. It is still used for political events, such as the annual speech from the throne by the Dutch monarch. From the 13th century on, the counts of Holland used The Hague as their administrative centre and residence when in Holland.
The village that originated around the Binnenhof was first mentioned as Haga in a charter from 1242. In the 15th century, the smarter des Graven hage came into use, literally "the count's wood", with connotations like "the count's hedge, private enclosure or hunting grounds". Gravenhage was officially used for the city from the 17th century on. Today this name is only used in some official documents like birth and marriage certificates. The city itself uses "Den Haag" in all its communication. When the Dukes of Burgundy gained control over the counties of Holland and Zeeland at the beginning of the 15th century, they appointed a stadtholder to rule in their stead with the States of Holland as an advisory council. Their seat was located in The Hague.
At the beginning of the Eighty Years' War, the absence of city walls proved disastrous, as it allowed Spanish troops easily to occupy the town. In 1575 the States of Holland even considered demolishing the city, but this proposal was abandoned, after mediation by William of Orange. From 1588 The Hague also became the seat of the government of the Dutch Republic. In order for the administration to maintain control over city matters, The Hague never received official city status, although it did have many of the privileges normally granted only to cities.Modern history
Only in 1806, when the Kingdom of Holland was a puppet state of the First French Empire, the settlement was granted city rights by Louis Bonaparte. After the Napoleonic Wars, modern-day Belgium and the Netherlands were combined in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands to form a buffer against France. As a compromise, Brussels and Amsterdam alternated as capital every two years, with the government remaining in The Hague. After the separation of Belgium in 1830, Amsterdam remained the capital of the Netherlands, while the government was situated in The Hague. When the government started to play a more prominent role in Dutch society after 1850, The Hague quickly expanded. Many streets were specifically built for the large number of civil servants employed in the country's government and for the Dutchmen who were retiring from the administration and exploitation of the Netherlands East Indies. The growing city annexed the rural municipality of Loosduinen partly in 1903 and completely in 1923.
The city sustained heavy damage during World War II. Around 15,000 Jews were killed during the German occupation. Additionally, the Atlantic Wall was built through the city, causing a large quarter to be torn down by the Nazi occupants. On 3 March 1945, the Royal Air Force mistakenly bombed the Bezuidenhout quarter. The target was an installation of V-2 rockets in the nearby "Haagse Bos" park, but because of navigational errors, the bombs fell on a heavily populated and historic part of the city. 511 people died and the scars in the city may still be seen today.
After the war The Hague was at one point the largest building site in Europe. The city expanded massively to the southwest, and the destroyed areas were quickly rebuilt. The population peaked at 600,000 inhabitants around 1965. In the 1970s and 1980s many, mostly white middle-class families moved to neighbouring towns like Voorburg, Leidschendam, Rijswijk and, most of all, Zoetermeer. This led to the traditional pattern of an impoverished inner city and more prosperous suburbs. Attempts to include parts of these municipalities in the city of The Hague were highly controversial. In the 1990s, with the consent of Dutch Parliament, The Hague annexed fairly large areas from neighbouring towns as well as from not even bordering ones, on which complete new residential areas were built and are still being built.CityscapeHofvijver and the buildings of the Dutch parliamentView of the 'Hoftoren' (left) and the Ministry of Public Health, Welfare and Sports (right)
City life concentrates around the Hofvijver and the Binnenhof, where the Parliament is located. Because of its history, the historical inner city of The Hague differs in various respects from the nearby smaller cities of Leiden and Delft. It does not have a cramped inner city, bordered by canals and walls. Instead it has some small streets in the town centre that may be dated from the late Middle Ages, and several spacious streets boasting large and luxurious 18th-century residences built for diplomats and affluent Dutch families. It has a large church dating from the 15th century, an impressive City Hall (built as such) from the 16th century, several large 17th-century palaces, a 17th-century Protestant church built in what was then a modern style, and many important 18th-century buildings.
The city is becoming more student friendly with the introduction of a new campus in 2012 of Leiden University as well as Leiden University College The Hague, which was established in 2010. The Royal Conservatory of The Hague and The Royal Academy of Art are also located there, as well as The Hague University, a vocational university and a branch of The Open University of the Netherlands. The city has many civil servants and diplomats. In fact, the number and variety of foreign residents (especially the expatriates) make the city quite culturally diverse, with many foreign pubs, shops and cultural events.
The Hague is the largest Dutch city on the North Sea and includes two distinct beach resorts. The main beach resort Scheveningen, in the northwestern part of the city, is a popular destination for tourists as well as for inhabitants. With 10 million visitors a year, it is the most popular beach town in the Benelux area. Kijkduin, in the southwest, is The Hague's other beach resort. It is significantly smaller and attracts mainly local residents.
The former Dutch colony of the East Indies, now Indonesia, has left its mark on The Hague. Since the 19th century, high level civil servants from the Dutch East Indies often spent long term leave and vacation in The Hague. Many streets are named after places in the Netherlands East Indies (as well as other former Dutch colonies such as Suriname) and there is a sizable "Indo" (i.e. mixed Dutch-Indonesian) community. Since the loss of these Dutch possessions in December 1949, "Indo people" also known as "Indische people" often refer to The Hague as "the Widow of the Indies".
The older parts of the town have many characteristically wide and long streets. Houses are generally low-rise (often not more than three floors). A large part of the southwestern city was planned by the progressive Dutch architect H.P. Berlage about 1910. This 'Plan Berlage' decided the spacious and homely streets for several decades. In World War II a large amount of the western portion of The Hague was destroyed by the Germans. Afterwards, modernist architect W.M. Dudok planned its renewal, putting apartment blocks for the middle class in open, park-like settings.
The layout of the city is more spacious than other Dutch cities, and because of the incorporation of large and old nobility estates, the creation of various parks and the use of green zones around natural streams, it is a much more green city than any other in the Netherlands. That is, excepting some medieval close-knitted streets in the centre. There are only a few canals in The Hague, as most of these were drained in the late 19th century.
The tallest buildings of The Hague are the both 146-metre-tall ministries of Security and Justice and the Interior and Kingdom Relations of the Netherlands. Other significant skyscrapers include the Hoftoren, New Babylon, Het Strijkijzer and De Kroon.GeographyDetailed map of The Hague.The Hague, divided into neighbourhoods.See also: Districts of The Hague
The Hague is the Netherlands' largest city on the North Sea, in the southwest of the South Holland province, and forms the centre of a conurbation called Haaglanden. Westland and Wateringen lie to the south, Delft and the Rotterdam conurbation (called Stadsregio Rotterdam or Rijnmond) to the southeast, Nootdorp, Pijnacker, Rijswijk and Voorburg to the east, Zoetermeer and Voorschoten to the northeast and Wassenaar and Leidschendam-Voorburg and the Leiden conurbation to the north.
The conurbations around The Hague and Rotterdam are close enough to be a single conurbation in some contexts. For example, they share the Rotterdam The Hague Airport and a light rail system called RandstadRail. Consideration is being given to creating a Rotterdam-The Hague metropolitan area. This large conurbation centred on The Hague and Rotterdam is, in turn, part of the Randstad - specifically a band of municipalities called the South Wing (Zuidvleugel). The Randstad, which also includes among others Amsterdam and Utrecht, has a population of 6,659,300. The Hague lies at the south-western corner of one of the largest urban areas in Europe.
The Hague is divided into eight official districts which are, in turn, divided into neighbourhoods. Some of the most prosperous and some of the poorest neighbourhoods of the Netherlands can be found in The Hague. The wealthier areas like Statenkwartier, Belgisch Park, Marlot, Benoordenhout and Archipelbuurt are generally located in the northwestern part of the city, closer to the sea, whereas the southeastern neighbourhoods like Transvaal, Moerwijk, and the Schilderswijk are significantly poorer, with the exception of the Vinex-locations of Leidschenveen-Ypenburg and Waterings Veld. This division is reflected in the local accent: The more affluent citizens are usually called "Hagenaars" and speak so-called bekakt Haags ("posh"), this contrasts with the Hagenezen, who speak plat Haags ("vulgar"); see Demographics below.
The districts are:
The Hague experiences a temperate oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) similar to almost all of the Netherlands. With its location on the coast it experiences slightly milder winter and summer temperatures than inland locations. It also gets more sunshine.
|13.8 (56.8)||15.9 (60.6)||20.8 (69.4)||25.9 (78.6)||29.7 (85.5)||33.5 (92.3)||33.1 (91.6)||34.6 (94.3)||28.7 (83.7)||24.5 (76.1)||17.5 (63.5)||15.4 (59.7)||33.5 (92.3)|
|5.9 (42.6)||6.3 (43.3)||9.3 (48.7)||12.8 (55)||16.7 (62.1)||19.0 (66.2)||21.3 (70.3)||21.5 (70.7)||18.4 (65.1)||14.5 (58.1)||9.9 (49.8)||6.6 (43.9)||13.5 (56.3)|
|3.6 (38.5)||3.6 (38.5)||6.1 (43)||8.7 (47.7)||12.5 (54.5)||15.1 (59.2)||17.4 (63.3)||17.5 (63.5)||14.8 (58.6)||11.3 (52.3)||7.4 (45.3)||4.3 (39.7)||11.2 (52.2)|
|1.0 (33.8)||0.7 (33.3)||2.7 (36.9)||4.5 (40.1)||8.1 (46.6)||11.0 (51.8)||13.3 (55.9)||13.3 (55.9)||10.9 (51.6)||7.8 (46)||4.5 (40.1)||1.7 (35.1)||6.6 (43.9)|
|−16.4 (2.5)||−14.0 (6.8)||−11.1 (12)||−4.4 (24.1)||−1.5 (29.3)||1.7 (35.1)||5.4 (41.7)||5.5 (41.9)||1.2 (34.2)||−4.4 (24.1)||−7.1 (19.2)||−10.6 (12.9)||−16.4 (2.5)|
|68.4 (2.693)||51.2 (2.016)||59.8 (2.354)||42.9 (1.689)||54.7 (2.154)||61.6 (2.425)||72.7 (2.862)||84.0 (3.307)||89.2 (3.512)||89.9 (3.539)||90.4 (3.559)||76.4 (3.008)||841.2 (33.118)|
|Source #1: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1981–2010 normals, snowy days normals for 1971–2000)|
|Source #2: Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (1971–2000 extremes)|
As of 1 January 2013, The Hague counts 506,485 inhabitants making it the third largest city of the Netherlands. The proportion of immigrants in The Hague was 50.5% and the ethnic Dutch population was roughly 49.5%.
|Netherlands Antilles and Aruba||12,502||2.5|
The demonym of The Hague officially is Hagenaar, but the term Hagenees is informally used for someone who was born and grew up in The Hague. It is believed by some that there is a separation between Hagenaars living on sand, and Hagenezen living on peat. The Hague is built partially on sand dunes and partially on peat; the border roughly runs parallel to the Laan van Meerdervoort. Generally the wealthier neighbourhoods lie on sand, and the poorer neighbourhoods on peat. People that live on the sand are Hagenaars, those that live on peat are Hagenezen. Another definition is that a Hagenees is someone speaking in the vulgar Haags accent, whereas a Hagenaar speaks in the more "posh" Haags accent.Politics Government See also: List of mayors of The Hague
Since the local elections of 2010, The Hague's municipal legislative contains twelve parties, most notably the PvdA (10 seats), the PVV (8 seats), the VVD (7 seats) and the D66 (6 seats). After the elections, the municipal executive was formed by a coalition existing of de PvdA, the VVD, the D66 and the CDA. The chairman of the college is mayor Jozias van Aartsen of the VVD, and the city has eight aldermen (or deputy mayor), each of which is responsible for a number of particular policy areas and one city district. The eight aldermen are:
The city of The Hague contributes substantially to international politics: The Hague is home to over 150 international organisations. These include the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Criminal Court (ICC), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), and the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
The foundation of The Hague as an "international city of peace and justice" was laid in 1899, when the world's first Peace Conference took place in The Hague on Tobias Asser's initiative, followed by a second in 1907. A direct result of these meetings was the establishment of the world's first organisation for the settlement of international disputes: the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). Shortly thereafter the Scottish-American millionaire Andrew Carnegie made the necessary funds available to build the Peace Palace ("Vredespaleis") to house the PCA.
After the establishment of the League of Nations, The Hague became the seat of the Permanent Court of International Justice, which was replaced by the UN's International Court of Justice after the Second World War. The establishment of the Iran-US Claims Tribunal (1981), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (1993) and the International Criminal Court (2002) in the city further consolidated the role of The Hague as a center for international legal arbitration. Most recently, on 1 March 2009, a U.N. tribunal to investigate and prosecute suspects in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri opened in the former headquarters of the Netherlands General Intelligence Agency in Leidschendam, a town within the greater area of The Hague.
The Hague is the fourth major centre for the United Nations, after New York, Geneva and Vienna. In line with the city's history as an important convention center and the current presence of institutions such as the ICJ, The Hague's city council employs a city branding strategy that aims to establish The Hague as the Legal Capital of the World and the International City of Peace and Justice.
Major international organisations based in The Hague include:
Many academic institutions in the fields of international relations, international law and international development are based in The Hague. The Hague Academic Coalition (HAC) is a consortium of those institutions.
Its member institutions are:
In 1948 The Hague Congress was held with 750 delegates from 26 European countries, providing them with the opportunity to discuss ideas about the development of the European Union.Twin towns and sister cities See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in the Netherlands
The Hague has a policy to partner with various countries of origin of its citizens. Since 2002 The Hague co-operates with Suriname
The Hague is twinned with:
Professional life in The Hague is dominated by the large number of civil servants and diplomats working in the city; 26% of the jobs in The Hague are those offered by the Dutch government or the international institutions. Large employers in this sector include the ministries of Defence, Justice, VROM, Foreign Affairs, BZK and V&W. Several large international businesses have their headquarters in The Hague, including Royal Dutch Shell, the world's largest company in terms of revenue. Other significant companies present in The Hague include:
There has never been any large-scale industrial activity in The Hague, with the possible exception of the fishing harbour in Scheveningen. Many of the city’s logistical and minor-industrial services are located in the Binckhorst in the Laak district, which contains many large warehouses.CultureThe Ridderzaal inside the Binnenhof, the political centre of the Netherlands.Monument commemorating the founding of the Kingdom of the Netherlands at Plein 1813.Noordeinde Palace.Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk.
The Hague originated around the 13th century Binnenhof, and this is still considered the cultural centre of the city. Night life centres around the three main squares in the city centre. The Plein (literally "Square") is taken by several large sidewalk cafés where often politicians may be spotted. The Grote Markt (literally "Great Market") is completely strewn with chairs and tables, summer or winter. The Buitenhof (literally "Outer Court", located just outside the Binnenhof) contains a six screen Pathé cinema and a handful of bars and restaurants in the immediate vicinity. Adjacent to the Buitenhof is De Passage, the country's first covered shopping mall. Dating from the late 19th century, it contains many expensive and speciality shops. One of the country's largest music venues, Paard van Troje, can be found in the centre of The Hague. Another popular music venue in The Hague is Muziekcafé de Paap.
The Spuiplein is a modern fourth square in the city centre, opposite the Nieuwe Kerk. Besides the City Hall, this is also the location of the Dr. Anton Philipszaal, home to the Residentie Orchestra, and the Lucent Danstheater, home to the internationally celebrated modern dance company Nederlands Dans Theater. These buildings, designed by Rem Koolhaas in 1988, are planned for demolition to make space for a new theatre, the Spuiforum, which would house both institutes as well as the Royal Conservatory. Despite efforts of the municipality, public support for the proposed theatre remains low. The Koninklijke Schouwburg, home to the Nationaal Toneel, can also be found in the city centre - on the Korte Voorhout. New European Ensemble is an ensemble for contemporary music consisting on international musicians. The ensemble has its main base in the city.
Scheveningen forms a second cultural centre of The Hague, having its own Pathé cinema as well as the musical theatre Circustheater although, especially in the summer, most night life concentrates around the sea-front boulevard with its bars, restaurants and gambling halls. Several other attractions can be found in Scheveningen, such as the miniature city Madurodam, the panoramic painting Panorama Mesdag, and Europe's first 360° IMAX-cinema the Omniverum.
The Hague is the residence of the Dutch monarch, and several (former) royal palaces can be found in the city. King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands live in Huis ten Bosch in the Haagse Bos, and work in the Noordeinde Palace in the city centre. Moreover, there are two former royal palaces in The Hague. The Kneuterdijk Palace, built in 1716, is now home to the Council of State of the Netherlands, and the Lange Voorhout Palace is now occupied by the Escher Museum, dedicated to Dutch graphical artist M. C. Escher.
The Hague has its share of museums, most notably the Mauritshuis, located next to the Binnenhof, which exhibits many paintings by Dutch masters, such as Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn and Paulus Potter. Other museums include the science museum Museon, the modern art museum Gemeentemuseum, the historic museum Haags Historisch Museum, the national postal museum Museum voor Communicatie, the Museum Bredius, the Louis Couperus Museum, the museum Beelden aan Zee in Scheveningen, and the former prison housed in a 15th-century gatehouse, the Gevangenpoort.
Since early times, possibly as far back as the 16th century, the stork has been the symbol of The Hague.
Several films have been (partially) shot in The Hague, including Hum Tum (2004), Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Zwartboek (2006). An alternative music video of Coldplay's Viva la Vida was also shot in The Hague.Sports
The Hague shares an airport with Rotterdam. It can be reached from Central Station by RandstadRail Line E, with an Airport Shuttle to and from Meijersplein Station. However, with several direct trains per hour from the railway stations Hollands Spoor and Centraal, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is more frequently used by people travelling to and from The Hague by air.
There are two main railway stations in The Hague: Hollands Spoor (HS) and Centraal Station (CS), only 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) distant from each other. Because these two stations were built and exploited by two different railway companies in the 19th century, east-west lines terminate at Centraal Station, whereas north-south lines run through Hollands Spoor. Centraal Station does, however, now offer good connections with the rest of the country, with direct services to most major cities, for instance Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht.
Public transport in The Hague consists of a tramway network and a sizeable number of bus routes, operated by HTM Personenvervoer. Plans for a subway were shelved in the early 1970s. However, in 2004 a tunnel was built under the city centre with two underground tram stations ("Spui" and "Grote Markt"); it is shared by RandstadRail lines 2, 3 and 4 and tram route 6.
RandstadRail connects The Hague to nearby cities, Zoetermeer, Rotterdam and Leidschendam-Voorburg. It consists of three light rail lines (2, 3 and 4 to Zoetermeer and Leidschendam-Voorburg) and one subway line (E to Rotterdam).
Major motorways connecting to The Hague include the A12, running to Utrecht and the German border. The A12 runs directly into the heart of the city in a cutting. Built in the 1970s, this section of motorway (the "Utrechtsebaan") is now heavily overburdened. Plans were made in the late 1990s for a second artery road into the city (the "Trekvliettracé" or previously called "Rotterdamsebaan") but have continually been put on hold. Other connecting motorways are the A4, which connects the city with Amsterdam, and the A13, which runs to Rotterdam and connects to motorways towards the Belgian border. There is also the A44 that connects the city to Leiden, Haarlem and Amsterdam.
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