Posts Tagged With: Tourist attraction

Paper planes (Or: Exhibit at city hall)

Do you know anyone who enjoys folding paper planes? Then you should bring them to The Hague’s city hall for an exhibition on paper planes (!):

Paper planes exhibit at The Hague's city hall, October 2018

You can also see each step of the folding progress and a stated degree in difficulty in making it:

Information at The Hague's city hall exhibition for paper planes

In total there are 100 airplanes on display.

Paper planes exhibit at The Hague's city hall, October 2018 (2)

It definitely beats the simple planes I folded growing up, that’s for sure!

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Girl with the pearl earring (Or: Keychain at VVV The Hague)

Over at VVV tourist information office, on the ground floor of the Central Library, you can find a rather special looking keychain of ‘Girl with the pearl earring’:

Girl with the pearl earring key chain at VVV The Hague

It looks pretty cool, although I can’t help but think she looks a bit annoyed at someone (in my opinion the shape of the dark brown eye piece makes it look like she is frowning).

Here’s a look at the actual painting on Wikipedia to compare.

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Grote Kerk in Breda (Or: Step back in time)

As mentioned in my last blog post, Marco and I spent our 5th anniversary in Breda. One of the places we visited was the Grote Kerk (Church of Our Lady) which was built between 1410 (!) and 1547. The church serves as a mausoleum for the first generations of the Nassau family (a total of 17 family members being buried there). After the Spanish invaded Breda, the Nassau family began to use the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) in Delft instead.

Here are some of the photos which I took of this magnificent church:

Grote Kerk in Breda, chandeliers

Grote Kerk in Breda, prayer candles

close up of prayer candles in a secluded part of the church

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Beauty in the moment (Or: World Championship Sand Sculpting 2018)

If you are looking for something to do in The Hague this summer, check out the sand sculptures at the Lange Voorhout. The World Championship Sand Sculpting 2018 is going on at the moment, with judging happening tomorrow. After that, the sculptures can be seen until 19 August! It will also be lighted at night, making it easy to visit at any moment.

The competition is held every three years. This year the Netherlands is the host country, with Japan, Singapore, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Great Britain, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic competing. The theme is ‘200 years of sea, sand and …’ which also highlights Scheveningen’s Feest aan zee celebration.

Here’s a peek at how the sculptures look so far. First a look at the sculpture from the Netherlands (as the host country, they cannot enter the judging):

World sand sculpting championship 2018 - Netherlands

200 years ago: The wife looks back at the past longingly, while the husband looks forward to the future and what Scheveningen can be

Other sculptures include:

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Den Bosch (Or: Dragon statues and gothic cathedrals)

Continuing my Den Bosch post from last week, here are some more pictures. First of a dragon statue on the way from the main train station to the downtown area:

Dragon statue in Den Bosch

The money for this statue apparently came from a grieving father who donated money in 1881 for a memorial for his 17-year-old twin daughters.

Dragon statue in Den Bosch - bottom

The father did not specify a dragon as the memorial, though. One theory for why it was a dragon was that it was a reference to the king’s commissioner Jhr. Mr. P.J. Bosch van Drakestein who lived around that time (“Drake” is a type of dragon). The dragon is holding his family’s crest, so this seems most likely:

Dragon statue in Den Bosch - top

Another theory is that the city of Den Bosch is built around a swamp, and was considered a swamp fortress. The dragon is named the “swamp dragon” in honor of the city.

And here are a few more pictures of St. John’s Cathedral that Marco took:

Saint John's cathedral in Den Bosch

And a close up: Saint John's cathedral in Den Bosch - close up

Unfortunately we weren’t able to find the statue wearing jeans and holding a cell phone (which was added not that long ago, the last time the church was being restored).

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A visit to Den Bosch (Or: Poetry amidst half statues)

For my birthday last week Marco and I visited Den Bosch. The official name of the city is ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Duke’s forest) but it is almost always shortened to Den Bosch (The forest). The first day we walked around the city using a walking guide from the local VVV office (tourism office).

St John's church in Den Bosch

One of the main attractions of the city is St. John’s church, which shows off the height of Gothic architecture in the Netherlands

Also some curious art can be seen:

The half pear statue in Den Bosch

De Halve Peer (The Half Pear)

The half-a-statue above came from a dispute – two parties were tasked with creating this memorial / remembrance piece, but only one invested the money. And here is the result – half a statue!

I also took a picture of this lovely farmers plaque on the side of a brick house:

Plaque to a farmer, Den Bosch

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Art in The Hague (Or: The Ball Gown)

Near the Passage there is a small alleyway called Achterom which translates to “Around the back”. It refers to the fact that this small alleyway was once the alternative entrance to the Buitenhof. The street followed The Haagse Beek (a creek or brook) and the walls of the Buitenhof.

achterom-street-crossing-with-the-passage-the-hague

Achterom – cutting through the Passage.

achterom-alleyway-in-the-hague

The alleyway first winds right

achterom-by-dok-cooking-store-in-the-hague

…and then left. In the distance is the corner of Achterom and Kettingstraat (“Necklace street”) where the Ball Gown artwork can be found

de-baljurk-the-ball-gown-the-hague

Map of how Acterom (here the white line) crosses De Passage. The red star marks the corner where the Ball Gown can be found.

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One street (Or: Chinatown gates in The Hague)

The Hague’s Chinatown can be found close to The Hague’s city center:

chinatown-area-the-hague

Google Maps – Chinatown, The Hague. The two busiest streets are Gempte Burgwal and Wagenstraat.

The highlight of this area is the two Chinatown gates:

chinatown-gate-at-stille-veerkade-the-hague

Chinatown gate by Stille Veerkade. If you are coming from the Holland Spoor train station, you’ll probably take Stationsweg to get to the city center. You would then pass through these gates. Continue through Wagenstraat to reach the heart of the city. 

chinatown-gate-by-gedempte-burgwal-the-hague

Chinatown gate by Gedempte Burgwal – most would see this gate as it lies close to the Grote Markstraat shopping area

The gates of Chinatown are an interesting subject. If you list to podcasts I definitely recommend 99% Invisible’s podcast episode on Pagodas and Dragon Gates, which talks about Chinatown in San Francisco. Before the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, Chinatown was much like any other part of the city, in terms of its architecture. After the earthquake there was talk of moving Chinatown into a different part of the city and using the prime real estate for something else. At least until Chinese leaders threatened to leave if this happened. So the city decided to keep Chinatown where it was and had the opportunity to rebuild Chinatown in a new style. The gates and pagodas were what the architect envisioned, but though it did not represent how China actually looked. But this image of China was very popular with tourists, and this version of Chinatown spread throughout the US.

The Hague’s Chinatown was previously a Jewish neighbourhood before WWII. After the war, the area remained for the most part vacant as only 2,000 of the 17,000 Jews returned to the city. In the 1970s the city designed to revamp this area into Chinatown, along with the nearby Rabbijn Maarsenplein which also has Japanese, Vietnamese and Indonesian restaurants (I highly recommend Little V).

While the gates are definitely a good photo opportunity, the best time to visit the district is during the Chinese New Year festival (post from 2013). But there are a lot of restaurants and a few souvenir shops on this street even if you aren’t visiting during the festival!

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Souvenirs and other knickknacks (Or: The Hague tourist office)

During a recent visit to the tourist office on the Spui I took photographs of some of the souvenirs you could buy that were specifically about this city:

the-hague-snowglobe

A snowglobe featuring the Peace Palace

the-hague-magnets

Magnets, magnets and more magnets

the-hague-streetmap-in-the-hague-dialect

A streep map of The Hague – in The Hague dialect.See more about this dialect at: Wikipedia

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Lights illuminating the church (Or: Nieuwe Kerk in The Hague)

Marco and I were walking past the Nieuwe Kerk (translation = New Church) when we noticed the lights illuminating it – blue, white and red:

nieuwe-kerk-in-blue-white-and-red-lights-the-hague-december-2016

I am not sure what the exact reason was even after looking through Google, but we decided to take a picture anyway. Especially with the Christmas lights around the plants! I can’t believe it is almost Christmas…

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