Normally the buildings of parliament, where a country is governed from, are located in the country’s capital. The Netherlands are an exception to that rule.
In the historic center of The Hague the following buildings are found: Binnenhof (Inner Court), Ridderzaal (Hall of Knights), Eerste Kamer (Senate), Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives) and het Torentje (the Little Tower) where the Prime-Minister resides. Buildings where important decisions are made pertaining to the wellbeing of the nation and all of its citizens. The Hague is where history is being written and the future of democracy is determined.
During a guided tour over the Binnenhof, you can admire the neo-gothic fountain designed by Pierre Cuypers, which is topped by a gilded statue of William II of Holland, made by the artist Ludwig Jünger. This fountain was a gift from affluent citizens of The Hague, who in doing so showed their appreciation for the renovation of the Binnenhof.
The Hall of Knights which dates from the 13th century, is where the yearly event of the Troonrede (royal address) is presented by the king on Prinsjesdag (Prince’s Day). This hall originally was a party palace for the counts of Holland. Now it is the location where our head of state informs the citizens of the government’s plans for the next year. Olympic sportsmen and women are honored in the Hall of Knights and receive their royal distinctions here.
For anyone who cannot be in The Hague on the third Tuesday in September, but does want to know everything about Prince’s Day, the Royal address and the Golden Carriage, the Historical Museum of The Hague hosts a permanent exhibit in the visitors center under the Hall of Knight named "The Prinsjesdag experience".
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
During your guided tour you can also visit the lower house of parliament (Tweede Kamer).
The Prime Minister’s Little Tower is located on the Hofvijver (Court Pond). Contrary to the name this actually isn't a pond, but a natural dune lake, that is fed by the Haagse Beek (The Hague Stream). Until this present day the Court Pond is still connected to the dunes near the beach resort of Kijkduin.
The Little Tower, currently used as the office of the Prime-Minister, initially had a different purpose. It was the summer gazebo for the counts of Holland, which was connected to a shady garden with a draw bridge. This garden later became the location of the Mauritshuis museum.
DISCOVER THE HAGUE
CITY OF ROALS
The special connection with our Royal Family is apparent all over town. A stroll by the palaces, the Palace Garden and several historic locations almost makes the connection to our Royal House tangible.
A stay in The Hague is incomplete without visiting the exclusive specialty stores in the many welcoming shopping areas, which are abundantly spread around the Buurtschap 2005 quarter and Hofkwartier (Royal Quarter).
MUSEUMS & THEATERS
The inner-city of The Hague has many museums and theaters. Lovers of art and culture find more than their money's worth here. In the nearby theaters you have your pick of an extensive selection of music, drama, dance and cabaret shows.