Posts Tagged With: Buitenhof

Sneaky sneaky (Or: Shortcut through the Binnenhof)

Yesterday I went for a walk, part of which included the Binnenhof. But this time I took a different route than tourists normally take:

As you can see there’s a small pathway between the two buildings which you can use to get in and out of the Binnenhof area. It’s quite small and easily missed, even as a local. But if you do take the path, you’ll notice that there are windows that allow you to peek into the Tweede Kamer (House of Representatives):

It’s nothing too special, except that I’m sure I’ve seen that room countless times on the national news (generally for interviews or occasionally when a member of the Tweede Kamer is desperately trying to avoid journalists and quickly escape up the escalator).

In other news:

  • There are now only 113 COVID-19 patients in the ICU, with 481 patients outside of the ICU (lcps.nu, article in Dutch). That’s very different from when I blogged about ICU beds back in late March when we had almost 1,000 patients. At the highest there were over 1,400 patients including 46 in Germany (nu.nl, article in Dutch). And speaking of Germany, the very last Dutch patient finally left a German ICU yesterday. Crazy.
  • During a press conference last night the Dutch prime minister announced that it would be possible to travel to certain other European countries from 15 June for vacation. Countries like Germany, Belguim, Italy and Croatia (nos.nl, article in Dutch). If you’re willing to risk it, of course… but everyone’s economies need a bit of help, that’s for sure.
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Two different towers (And: A waiting seagull?)

A few weeks ago I took this photo of the Ridderzaal in the Binnenhof:

I believe this was the day Marco and I went for a walk and stopped briefly to bask in the sun. The clouds definitely caught my eye. But I didn’t notice until today that the Ridderzaal’s left tower looks slightly different than the right tower. Hmm. But maybe it was always that way? At least it looks to be that way since before World War I – check out this postcard on the Wikipedia article page. Also cool: back then the tram rode right along the building, on the left side of my photo above.

The Ridderzaal was built in the 13th century. It’s crazy to get random reminders about how old European countries are compared to the US. And what photo wouldn’t be complete with a few folks eating and a seagull patiently waiting hoping for some handouts (left side by the bench)?

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Layers of green (Or: Another view of the Buitenhof)

Here is a look at the Buitenhof from the other side, facing Plaats (“Place”, a plaza in the city centre). Read more about the plaza at the Dutch Wikipedia article with Google translate active. That page includes an image of Johan de Witt’s statue, a politician who was murdered in the 17th century. According to one legend the statue points to the ground to show the spot he was murdered…

What drew my eye when taking this picture was the two different shades of green for the trees on the island in the middle of the Buitenhof.

Random link of the day: a group of business owners from the city of Utrecht have created a YouTube video celebrating the opening of hotels, restaurants and cafés this coming Monday:

The song is Frank Sinatra’s That’s Life, with a different text.

And today it was announced that the long anticipated Formula 1 race coming to Zandvoort is officially cancelled (article from dutchtimes.nl). The reason? It was going to be the first F1 race in The Netherlands since 1985 and the track organizers didn’t want to race without fans being able to come and experience it. (I think the real reason is there is no possible way they could keep the fans away, regardless of what they did.)

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Serenity (Or: Between the Binnenhof and the Mauritishuis)

Happy Friday, everyone! Here is a photo I took during a walk yesterday:

On the left you have the Binnenhof, on the right you have the Mauritshuis, an art museum. Perhaps you know its most famous painting? The Girl with a Pearl Earring, by Johannes Vermeer.

In the background, the water leads to the Hofvijver pond, of which I’ve taken countless photos of over the years.

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Protect the art (Or: Jantje statue with face mask)

Last night Marco and I went for a walk, a bit later in the evening around 20:00. While the weather was turning cooler it was still a nice walk through a fairly peaceful city centre. Actually, when we walked through the (deserted) Binnenhof what I noticed the most was the silence – not even the birds were chirping.

One thing we noticed was a face mask on the statue of “Jantje” or “Little John”:

Jantje was a boy who died at the age of 15… in the year 1299. He’s part of a Dutch children’s song about The Hague. If you ask him where his father lives, he’ll point with his finger to the Binnenhof, as his father’s estate used to reside in the space where the Binnenhof now stands.

Marco remarked on the dislocation of the finger – most likely a lot of people touch it due to the song.

And here is a bonus picture taken by Marco:

That’s a great angle, if I say so myself.

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Warm weather (Or: Who needs a jacket?)

Yesterday I had the day off so I went for a walk. The weather has been great for the Easter holiday: 70-75F with a ton of sun. One of the places I walked through is the Binnenhof, a place mentioned a lot on this blog. I like going there and watching the tourists, actually. It’s weird to live somewhere that tourists visit. So I go there and watch the families and friends excitedly taking photos of this and that…

Here is my photo, with the beautiful blue sky behind.

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Wrapped in fog (Or: Buitenhof in The Hague)

Last week I took a photo of the Buitenhof here in The Hague:

And a photo where the flags are less prominent:

It was a cold day that day. Whereas this past Saturday we had temperatures of almost 60F (15C), with similar temperatures expected this weekend. Time to sit outside for hours soaking in the sun!

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King’s Night and Day (Or: Carnivals, festivals, and more)

The Netherlands celebrated the five year reign of Willem-Alexander Thursday night and Friday, with King’s Night and King’s Day. I can’t believe it has been that long. I still remember seeing the live, breaking news of Princess Beatrix abdicating the throne (video with English subtitles). I had barely been in the Netherlands a month, and was watching the news without having a clue what she was saying. There are no subtitles on live TV unfortunately…

First, we’ll start with the carnival at the Malieveld which is held every year around this day:

Carnival ride at Maliveld, The Hague, for King's Day

I could probably handle this ride.

Carnival ride at Maliveld, The Hague, for King's Day 2

Nope. Won’t be going on this one. It was pretty cool to watch though.

And then you had The Life I Live festival in The Hague, held every year on King’s night. A dozen or so music stages are set up throughout the city centre.

Stage at the King's Night party in The Hague

A smaller stage

Stage at the King's Night party in The Hague 2

Here is a much larger set up, at Het Plein (literally ‘the plaza’)

Buitenhof fountain during King's Night in The Hague

The fountain at Het Buitenhof, with the Ferris wheel from the previously mentioned carnival at the Maliveld in the background

Tram on King's Day, The Hague

And finally, a historic tram passing by during King’s Day on Friday

I still need to buy something orange for King’s Day. I’ve managed to not do that in the 5+ years I have been here. Related, amusing blog post about orange clothes and King’s Day: The King Size King’s Day T-Shirt blog post over at the Invading Holland blog.

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Screaming kids (Or: A signal that Rutte is near by)

A few weeks ago I was walking in the area of the Buitenhof (Dutch parliament). I heard a bit of (positive) screaming, as if someone had spotted a rock star. I look over but only see a group of school kids on the other side of the road (by the Buitenhof / the lake, where the red line starts). I’m on the other side, closer to Plaats/Museum de Gevangepoort.

View of the Buitenhof in The Hague, Google maps

Strange, I think to myself. I keep walking. The screaming intensifies. I look over again, and realize a few of the kids have broken from the group and are running along the water (towards the yellow star – don’t you love how I annotate a Google Maps photo?).

Obviously I know I am not the cause of their affection, so I glance around again. And then realize the Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte is walking about 5 meters / 15 feet in front of me. No security to be seen (it’s not like he is Wilders). Cool, I think. I debate grabbing my phone for a photo for the blog, but decide against it. That would be weird.

Now most of the kids are screaming. I see him laugh as he waves to the kids, which only increases their adoration. I remember thinking to myself at least they are smart enough not to dart off into traffic to say hi – they merely keep running on their side of the street to keep up with him.

He then cuts left and crosses the street to their side (brave man) by where the yellow star is and the statue of King Willem II. Rutte is then surrounded by a wall of kids, luckily still tall enough to be seen. He graciously allows his photo to be taken with the group, which cause a final, resounding scream of joy.

I then decide, hey, I want a picture too!

It’s hard to tell because he is wearing a black jacket, but he is at the base of the tree (you can see his face).

School children surrounding Dutch prime minister Rutte.jpg

What surprised me the most was the kids’ reaction for a politician – how happy they were to catch a glimpse of him. But it was fun to experience it.

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Stirrings of spring (Or: Flowers by the Buitenhof)

Spring is probably here already, but some days it feels so cold. At least there are beautiful flowers to enjoy!

Flowers by Buitenhof, The Hague

This is by the Buitenhof in The Hague.

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