To celebrate the first day of Christmas here in the Netherlands, here is a look at the Christmas tree within De Passage:
The fun story being this tree – in 2013 there were rumours that the Christmas tree would no longer come back because it ruined the view of the incoming Apple Store, but it was still present in 2013 (the Apple Store wasn’t open yet) and luckily present in 2014 and 2015.
And here we are in 2016! (This year I heard from someone that it wasn’t that Apple wanted to ban the Christmas tree so it didn’t ruin the store view, but that they wanted to decorate it themselves but the other stores were against that. Makes sense, but probably just another rumor.)
On Thursday I went to the Christmas market here in The Hague. It is by the Hofvijfer (Buitenhof), although tonight is the last night. And the craziest stall there? One selling ugly Christmas sweaters.
And here’s a look at the Christmas tree in De Passage:
I’ve written about the Christmas tree a few times, back when the Apple store’s impending arrival threatened its existence, and when it came back (unexpectedly). It’s come back in the two years since, so it looks like it is here to stay.
Two more nights, and then it is Christmas!
Marco and I were walking through the Passage yesterday and noticed that the Christmas tree was back again this year. This is sort of a surprise because when Apple moved into the spot a few years ago, they stated in their contract that the Christmas tree (which had been there for years) was no longer allowed. The first and second years the Christmas tree did appear because the Apple store wasn’t open yet. However, the Apple store opened over the summer, so no more Christmas tree, right?
You can see the Apple store behind the tree.
It’s not too much longer before the addition to De Passage is open… That is a shopping area that connects a few important shopping streets together. It’s been quite annoying to have it under construction as of late, since that meant having to walk a detour to get where you needed to go.
But as of 18 September, it will be open again! Above you can see someone hard at work on the finishing touches. In the distance is De Bijenkorf (a retail store). I also have a lovely image of De Bijenkorf at Christmas time.
The new passageway (from Grote Markt to another shopping street) is making progress. You can see an artist’s drawing of what it will look like when finished.
And another image:
In other news, Marks & Spencer (a British retail store) will be finished on February 19. It’s also in the centrum of The Hague.
Over the last week or so I’ve seen a lot of Christmas trees around The Hague. One tree that I was not expecting to see was in De Passage. It’s not the best picture but it’s not a small tree either! (The black wall in the background is the construction area before the Apple store).
This was unexpected because of the agreement between a not-yet-opened Apple store and De Passage. In the contract between Apple and the shopping area, it was stipulated that there would be no more Christmas tree in the center as it would block the view of the storefront. Of course, people were quite annoyed by this. But Marco and I found out a few days ago that the tree was back! Only for this year, as a consolation because the Apple store isn’t yet open.
I also found a smaller Christmas tree at Central Station in The Hague:
Good news for Marco – the rest of his Christmas presents just arrived (via Amazon UK/PostNL) so he will have a present filled Christmas this year! He was even nice and went downstairs to get the package from the mailman. Nothing like waiting until the afternoon of Christmas Eve, but I ordered things pretty late this year.