the Hague


May 17, 2022

The Hague (pronunciation (info / explanation)), officially The Hague (pronunciation (info / explanation)), is the capital of the province of South Holland and with 552,995 inhabitants (January 31, 2022, source: CBS) the third largest second largest municipality in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Although The Hague is not the capital of the Netherlands, which is Amsterdam, it is the residence (seat of government) and in many ways functions as the capital. The city of The Hague arose in the Middle Ages around the Hofvijver and the Binnenhof, today the center of Dutch politics. The Dutch government and parliament are located in the city, and it is the residence of the royal family. Most embassies, all ministries and the Supreme Court are also located in The Hague. In addition, the city is home to various national and international courts, including the International Court of Justice in the Peace Palace and the International Criminal Court. Around 1900 it also hosted the two Hague peace conferences, where important international agreements on the law of war were concluded. The Hague is the largest Dutch city on the North Sea and has a coastline of eleven kilometers. Due to its location on the North Sea, The Hague has been an international tourist destination since the 19th century. The city has two seaside resorts: Scheveningen and Kijkduin. In addition, there is a wide sandy beach with a row of dunes: an extensive nature reserve. Scheveningen – formerly a fishing village – has a regional port. The city spawned an influential art movement in the 19th century, the Hague School, and is home to two internationally renowned art museums, the Mauritshuis and the Kunstmuseum Den Haag (for modern art). Since 1 January 2015, The Hague and 22 other municipalities together form the Rotterdam The Hague Metropolitan Area. The area covered by this partnership has a combined population of 2.3 million. This region in turn forms part of the Randstad conurbation, the highly urbanized conurbation in the west of the Netherlands.


The place was traditionally called Die Haghe or Den Hag(h)e. For example, in 1568 Philip II spoke of the 'freedom of the Hage'. From the beginning of the 17th century, the city council officially used the name 's-Gravenhage, which sounds more dignified and is a contraction of 'des Graven ha(a)ge' (probably it was already understood then as the Hague ( the forest). of the Count of Holland). The old name The Hague continued to exist in popular speech. A similar articulation can be seen in the city of Den Bosch, which is still popularly called that, while the official name is 's-Hertogenbosch (which was traditionally understood as the forest of the Duke of Brabant). Since 1990, the municipality has used the name The Hague instead of 's-Gravenhage as much as possible, in order to fit in with the common language and with foreign names such as The Hague (English) and La Haye (French). However, identity cards and official documents of the municipality state 's-Gravenhage, after a proposal to officially change the name of the municipality to The Hague was rejected in 1990. The telephone service and the postal service also use The Hague. The railways and road authorities use the shorter name The Hague. The BAG contains the city name 's-Gravenhage (residence code 1245). The name 'The Hague' is used in a figurative sense for the Dutch government and parliament. In its diminutive form, 'The Hague' can be an archetype: the Haagje is used for a 'genteel' looking place or one that is associated with the Oranjehuis. For example, Breda is called the Hague of the South, Arnhem the Hague of the East, Roermond is the Hague of Limburg and the Frisian Haagje is a nickname of Heerenveen. The Hague was traditionally the place where Dutch people who worked in the Dutch colonies used to spend their long leave. After the independence of the Dutch East Indies, many Indonesian Ned