"Den Haag" and "Hague" redirect here.
For the elm cultivar, see Ulmus 'Den Haag'.
Den Haag 's-Gravenhage
|City Hall||The Hague City Hall|
|Mayor||Jan van Zanen (VVD)|
|Municipality||98.13 km (37.89 sq mi)|
|Land||82.45 km (31.83 sq mi)|
|Water||15.68 km (6.05 sq mi)|
|Randstad||3,043 km (1,175 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1 m (3 ft)|
|Population (1 November 2019)|
|Density||6,523/km (16,890/sq mi)|
|Demonym(s)||Hagenaar or Hagenees|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Area code||070, 015|
The Hague (/heɪɡ/; Dutch: Den Haag [dɛn ˈɦaːx (listen) or 's‑Gravenhage [ˌsxraːvə(n)ˈɦaːɣə (listen)) is a city on the western coast of the Netherlands on the North Sea, the administrative and royal capital of the Netherlands and the capital of the province of South Holland.
The Hague is the seat of the Cabinet, the States General, the Supreme Court, and the Council of State of the Netherlands, but the city is not the constitutional capital of the Netherlands, which is Amsterdam.
Most foreign embassies in the Netherlands are located in the city.
The Hague is also home to the world headquarters of Royal Dutch Shell and other Dutch companies.
The Hague is known as the home of international law and arbitration.
The International Court of Justice, the main judicial arm of the United Nations, is located in the city, as well as the International Criminal Court, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, Europol, and approximately 200 other international governmental organisations.
The Hague was first mentioned as Die Haghe in 1242.
In the 15th century, the name des Graven hage came into use, literally "The Count's Wood", with connotations like "The Count's Hedge, Private Enclosure or Hunting Grounds".
"'s Gravenhage" was officially used for the city from the 17th century onward.
Today, this name is only used in some official documents like birth and marriage certificates.
The city itself uses "Den Haag" in all its communications.
See also: Timeline of The Hague
In 1997, four Roman milestones were discovered at Wateringse Veld.
The originals are in the "Museon" museum.
The milestones indicate the distance from the nearest Roman city, Forum Hadriani (modern Voorburg) and can be dated to the reign of the emperors Antoninus Pius (138-161; the column is dated 151), Caracalla (211–217), Gordian III (238–244), and Decius (249–251).
Little is known about the origin of The Hague.
There are no contemporary documents describing it, and later sources are often of dubious reliability.
What is certain is that The Hague was founded by the last counts of the House of Holland.
Presumably, Floris IV intended to rebuild the court into a large castle, but he died in a tournament in 1234, before anything was built.
His son and successor William II lived in the court, and after he was elected King of the Romans in 1248, he promptly returned to The Hague, and had builders turn the court into a "royal palace" (regale palacium), which would later be called the Binnenhof ("Inner Court").
From the 13th century onward, the counts of Holland used The Hague as their administrative center and residence when in Holland.
The village that originated around the Binnenhof was first mentioned as Die Haghe in a charter dating from 1242.
It became the primary residence of the Counts of Holland in 1358, and thus became the seat of many government institutions.
This status allowed the village to grow; by the Late Middle Ages, it had grown to the size of a city, although it did not receive city rights.
In its early years, the village was located in the ambacht, or rural district, of Monster, which was governed by the Lord of Monster.
Seeking to exercise more direct control over the village, however, the Count split the village off and created a separate ambacht called Haagambacht, governed directly by the Counts of Holland.
The territory of Haagambacht was considerably expanded during the reign of Floris V.
When the House of Burgundy inherited the counties of Holland and Zeeland in 1432, they appointed a stadtholder to rule in their stead with the States of Holland and West Friesland as an advisory council.
Although their seat was located in The Hague, the city became subordinate to more important centres of government such as Brussels and Mechelen, from where the sovereigns ruled over the increasingly centralised Burgundian Netherlands.
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.
In modern administrative law, "city rights" have no place anymore.
Because of its location on the coast, it experiences milder winters and cooler summers than more inland locations.
It also gets more sunshine.
See also: List of tallest buildings in Haaglanden
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 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 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 south west, is The Hague's other beach resort.
It is significantly smaller and attracts mainly local residents.
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 south western city was planned by the progressive Dutch architect H.P. about 1910. Berlage
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. planned its renewal, putting apartment blocks for the middle class in open park-like settings. Dudok
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.
The Hague has a canal system around the old city center, which is mainly used for boat tours around the city.
Most of the canals were drained in the late 19th century but many have been restored recently.
|City of Den Haag population by country of origin (2018)|
|Dutch Caribbean||13,218 (2.48%)|
As of 1 January 2014, The Hague counts 509,779 inhabitants, making it the third largest city of the Netherlands.
Between 1800 and 1960, the city saw a considerable growth from 40,000 in 1800 to 200,000 in 1900 and eventually 600,000 in 1960.
The growth following 1900 was partially caused by the housing act of 1901, which stimulated the expansion of cities such as The Hague.
In the period between 1960 and 1980, The Hague saw a shrinkage from 600,000 to 440,000 inhabitants, caused mostly by the spatial policy, demographic processes and lack of space.
After several annexations and housing constructions, The Hague has since grown again, celebrating its 500,000th inhabitant in 2011.
The municipality expects the growth to continue to 513,000 inhabitants in 2020.
The demonym of The Hague officially is Hagenaar, but the term Hagenees is informally used for someone who was born and raised in The Hague.
The usage of these demonyms appears to be class-bound, with Hagenaar being the upper-class term and Hagenees being that of the lower-class.
The proportion of Dutch people is 48%, while that of Western immigrants is 15.6%, and that of non-western immigrants is 34.4%.
Just under half of The Hague's population identifies with a religious group.
The two most popular religions are Christianity (29%) and Islam (14.1%).
Indonesian, Turks, Moroccans and Surinamese people are particularly likely to adhere to a religion.
Islam is the most common religion among Turks and, particularly, among Moroccans.
Surinamese people are more religiously mixed, although Hinduism is the most common.
Of The Hague's native Dutch population, almost all religious people belong to Christianity.
Just under 40% of the population of The Hague regularly attends a house of worship.
See also: List of mayors of The Hague
|Group de Mos – Heart for The Hague||8 / 45|
|VVD – People's Party for Freedom and Democracy||7 / 45|
|Democrats 66||6 / 45|
|GroenLinks||5 / 45|
|Christian Democratic Appeal||3 / 45|
|Labour Party||3 / 45|
|The Hague City Party||3 / 45|
|Party for the Animals||2 / 45|
|Party for Freedom||2 / 45|
|Islam Democrats||1 / 45|
|Christian Union-Reformed Political Party||1 / 45|
|Socialist Party||1 / 45|
|50PLUS||1 / 45|
|NIDA||1 / 45|
|Party of Unity||1 / 45|
Since 2018, the municipal executive has comprised Group de Mos, VVD, D66 and GroenLinks.
The chairman of the college is Mayor Pauline Krikke (VVD), and the city has eight aldermen: Richard de Mos, Rachid Guernaoui (both Group de Mos), Boudewijn Revis, Kavita Parbhudayal (both VVD), Saskia Bruines, Robert van Asten (both D66), Liesbeth van Tongeren and Bert van Alphen (both GroenLinks).
Each alderman is responsible for a number of particular policy areas and one of the city's eight districts.
On 1 October 2019, the National Department of Criminal Investigation (Rijksrecherche) performed a raid on the homes and offices of aldermen Richard de Mos and Rachid Guernaoui, as part of an investigation of alleged administrative corruption, bribery and violation of confidentiality.
Offices of several municipal civil servants and the homes of three entrepreneurs were also searched for the investigation.
The aldermen are suspected of receiving bribes in exchange for granting permits.
The Hague is home to many different international judicial bodies, such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the International Criminal Court (ICC), and the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (IRMCT).
The Hague is the fourth major centre for the United Nations, after New York, Geneva and Vienna.
The foundation of The Hague as an "international city of peace and justice" started at the end of the 19th century, when the first global Conference of peace took place in The Hague on Tobias Asser's initiative, with a second one a few years later.
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).
After the establishment of the League of Nations, The Hague became the seat of the Permanent Court of International Justice, which was replaced (after World War II) by the UN's International Court of Justice.
The establishments of the Iran–United States Claims Tribunal (1981), the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (1993) and the International Criminal Court (2002) in the city further consolidated its role as a centre for international legal arbitration.
Most recently, on 1 March 2009, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a UN 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.
Other major international and European organisations based in The Hague include:
- Eurojust, European Union body composed of national prosecutors
- European Patent Office
- Europol, European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation
- The Hague Academy of International Law, centre for high-level education in both public and private international law
- Hague Conference on Private International Law (HCCH), the oldest and preeminent private international law harmonisation institution
- Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
- NATO Communications and Information Agency, (NCI Agency)
- Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
- The European Library
- Europeana, the EU digital platform for cultural heritage.
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:
- Carnegie Foundation
- Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL)
- International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam
- Leiden University College The Hague
- Netherlands Institute of International Relations 'Clingendael'
- The Hague Academy of International Law
- The Hague University of Applied Sciences
- T.M.C. Asser Instituut
Twin towns and sister cities
The Hague is twinned with
The Hague has a service-oriented economy.
Professional life in the city is dominated by the large number of civil servants and diplomats working in the city; as of 2006, 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, Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations and Transport, Public Works and Water Management.
Several large international businesses have their headquarters in The Hague, including Royal Dutch Shell, the world's fifth largest company in terms of revenue.
There has never been any large-scale industrial activity in The Hague, with the possible exception of the fishing activities of the 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 sizeable warehouses.
Tourism is an important sector in The Hague.
In 2012, The Hague welcomed 1.2 million tourists (an increase of 80,000 compared to the previous year), half of whom came from abroad.
The number of hotel nights in the city increased by 5%; in particular, visitors from neighbouring countries are finding their way to The Hague.
Compared to 2011 Belgians booked 27% more hotel nights, while the Germans were good for 24% more hotel nights, and the French booked 20% more hotel nights.
The 14% average increase in visits by foreign tourists more than compensated for the slight decrease of less than 1% by Dutch visitors.
Tourists spend an average of €2 billion a year in the local economy.
Today 1 in 10 residents make their living from the tourism sector.
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.
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 was also the location of the Dr. , home to the Anton PhilipszaalResidentie Orchestra, and the Lucent Danstheater, home to the internationally celebrated modern dance company Nederlands Dans Theater.
Despite efforts of the municipality, public support for the proposed theatre remains low.
At the heart of the city centre across the palace gardens is the home of Summerschool Den Haag, international school for dance with guest teachers such as Valentina Scaglia, Igone de Jongh, and Maia Makhateli.
The Koninklijke Schouwburg, home to the Nationaal Toneel, can also be found in the city centre – on the Korte Voorhout.
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.
The Hague is the residence of the Dutch monarch, and several (former) royal palaces can be found in the city.
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 Gevangenpoort, a former prison housed in a 15th-century gatehouse.
Since early times, possibly as far back as the 16th century, the stork has been the symbol of The Hague.
Parts of the second season of the Netflix series Sense8 were filmed in The Hague.
Notable actors and filmmakers from The Hague include Martin Koolhoven, Georgina Verbaan, Carel Struycken, Frederique van der Wal, Marwan Kenzari, Anna Drijver, Renée Soutendijk and Paul Verhoeven, who grew up in the city from an early age.
ADO Den Haag have won the KNVB Cup twice and won the League twice in the era before professional football.
They play their matches at the 15,000 seat Cars Jeans Stadion.
Amateur team HVV are also based in the city.
Prior to the professional era the club won 10 national titles and one KNVB Cup, and they remain fourth in the all-time list of national title winners.
HBS Craeyenhout are another amateur club in the city, who won three national titles before the establishment of the Eredivisie
Home games are played at the Sportcampus Zuiderpark.
The local rugby union team is Haagsche Rugby Club (a.k.a. HRC) and has been in the Guinness Book of Records for becoming Dutch (in adult and youth) champions so often.
The ice hockey team is HYS The Hague.
The handball team is SV Wings, active in the top division.
The half marathon race CPC Loop Den Haag is held annually in The Hague.
In 1994, The Hague held the FEI World Equestrian Games.
Koningsdag, or King's Day, is held annually on 27 April.
It is traditionally celebrated with fairs and flea markets throughout the city.
The day is a vrijmarkt (literally "free market"), which means no licence is needed for street vending; children traditionally use this day to sell old unwanted toys.
Since King's Day is a national holiday and thus a day off, many people also go out and party on the evening before King's Day.
This evening is called King's Night, or Koningnach in The Hague.
The "t" is left out because nacht is pronounced as nach in The Hague.
Outdoor concerts throughout the city centre of The Hague draw tens of thousands of visitors every year.
Every third Tuesday in September is Prinsjesdag, or Prince's Day, the opening of Dutch parliament.
A festive day, children in The Hague are free from school so they may watch the procession of the Golden Coach.
Here, the King reads the Speech from the Throne, written jointly by the Ministers and Secretaries of State.
This troonrede outlines the government's plans for the coming year.
As the procession returns to the Noordeinde Palace, the road is lined with members of the Dutch Royal Armed Forces, and in the afternoon, the Royal Family appears on the palace balcony to address an adoring and often frenzied public (balkonscène).
Hundreds of thousands of people gather in Scheveningen for the festivities, and the fishing boats are decorated specially for the occasion.
In addition to the omnipresent herring, this day also features a number of activities unrelated to fish.
In Scheveningen, the first barrel of herring is traditionally sold at an auction on the Thursday preceding the official Vlaggetjesdag, and the proceeds go to charity.
Vlaggetjesdag was made official in 1947, although the festive tradition around the beginning of herring season is much older: in the 18th century, the villages along the coast, including Scheveningen, were forbidden to gut the caught herring.
Since herring was most appropriate for smoking around September, most fishing boats caught flatfish or round-bodied fish during part of the summer, so as to avoid a surplus of fresh herring.
In July or August, The Hague hosts a series of weekly firework displays by the sea front in Scheveningen, as part of an international fireworks festival and competition.
Established in 1959, it is one of the oldest festivals and the fourth largest grand fair in the Netherlands.
It is also the annual event with the highest number of paying visitors of The Hague, having consistently attracted more than 100,000 visitors since 1993.
The Milan Festival is Europe's biggest Hindustani open-air event, annually held in Zuiderpark.
The Hague also hosts several annual music festivals; on the last Sunday in June, the city hosts Parkpop, the largest free open air pop concert in Europe.
Crossing Border Festival is an annual festival in November, focusing on music and literature.
The first edition took place in 1993.
Movies That Matter is an international film and debate festival about peace and justice that takes place every year at the end of March; nine days filled with screenings of fiction films and documentaries, daily talk-shows, music performances and exhibitions.
The first such event took place in 2006.
Moreover, The Hague International Model United Nations, annually held in January, is a five-day conference held at the World Forum, gathering over 4,000 students from over 200 secondary schools across the globe.
It is the oldest and largest high school United Nations simulation in the world.
Den Haag Sculptuur is an open-air exhibition of sculptures; the 10th such event, in 2007, celebrated the 400 years of the relationship between the Netherlands and Australia.
The exact date of the ceremony varies each year.
Main article: List of people from The Hague
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.
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.
Plans for a subway were shelved in the early 1970s.
RandstadRail connects The Hague to nearby cities, Zoetermeer, Rotterdam and Leidschendam-Voorburg.
It consists of four light rail lines (3, 4 and 19 to Zoetermeer, Rijswijk, Delft 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 "Rotterdamsebaan", previously called the "Trekvliettracé") which is due to be built between 2016 and 2019.
In the 1970s, plans of building another motorway to Leiden existed.
This "Leidsebaan" was supposed to start in the city centre and then follow the railway line from The Hague to Amsterdam.
Some works had been executed, but had been removed by the 1980s.
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Hague.