Hammam means "a place where it's hot and where water flows abundantly".
Bathing is an art and an ancient ritual for the wellbeing of mind and body.
My friends and I went to a hammam yesterday (13 Oct. 2002) in The Hague. Strictly women only at that time.
I have never been so clean and smooth in my life!
It was very busy at first but the last hour most people had left and I was actually the very last to leave the bath area.
First you sit in a steamroom (45 degr. Celsius) for 5 minutes, then shower and rub the skin with a special soft soap that looks and smells like pureed dates.
Then you sit in the steamroom again and let the soap soften the skin. Wash it off and start scrubbing. It was fun to do each other's back. Then you shower, steam again and rub all over with mud. Steam again, shower off and have a massage if you want one, but you can massage each other too.
Except for the steamroom, you do all this in a large area with tiled bences all around and many taps with tiled bowls. In the middle there's a huge warm stone slate where you can sit and lie down. When you look up, you look into a dome with stained glass in the middle. The area is constantly cleaned by the staff and everyone keeps their own part clean too.
The funny thing is you don't feel lack of privacy. Everyone, from young to old, of any size and shape, is doing the same thing. We were there for three hours, rubbing in creams and oils, enjoying the steambath and just lying down to relax or sitting around and talking.
After the hammam, we went to a Turkish restaurant for a big meal because you get really hungry!
I will most certainly do this again some time!
Photo: as you can't take any photo's during opening hours, I have taken one from the website mentioned below.
The Hague has turned into a melting pot of dozens of different, and multicultural people, and the city wanna be proud of its cultural diversity. When visiting one of the The Hague's market places you'll be surprised of its reflection of the colorful society with Indonesian fruits, Moroccan herbs, yard-long beans from Suriname, fresh Turkish bread. The Schilderswijk region habits many nationalities and would you like to learn how to prepare your own "rotis" (Surinam's most popular dish) or get familiar with the exotic herbs? Wanna visit a mosque, or see a Hindu temple? Well, get the chance to do so, by just a visit to the multicultural parts of The Hague (Schilderswijk, Stationsbuurt & Transvaal).
And The Hague gots its own multicultural tourist information company, named CITY MONDIAL. Here you can ask for all info about excursions and day trips (included hotel accommodation, shop tours, waterbike-trips). Speciality is the HA-SHI-BA Bazar
Stichting City Mondial/VVV
2512 AW Den Haag
VVV/Algemene Toeristische Informatie:
Telefoon 0900 340 35 05
Open: Tuesday until Saturday
from 11.00 - 17.00 hrs
Wanna Be Seen And Be Watched? Come to The Hague where rich diplomats sit next to lost hippies. For a relaxed drink go to the Grote Markt. De Zwarte Ruiter is one of the most popular bars in the area, right in the center, and is found facing my home-place on opposite side of a huge square. Actually it is a restaurant and bar. And just around the corner you get the down-town shopping facilities ...
Enjoy the small seating area at the front, melting away with the other terraces of the Boekenmarkt region. When meeting the young trendies packing out at the weekend, donot get distressed not wearing your baseball bat ... heehee
Address: Grote Markt 27, The Hague
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11:00-01:00
Fri - Sat: 11:00-02:00
So call me for a drink when hitting this popular spot ... greetzzz RoyJava & thanks for visiting.
After several trial tours in 2002, starting from April 2003 boat tours through the canals of The Hague are being organized by Ooievaart. The boats are not of the closed type as used in cities like Amsterdam, but are open and much smaller (see picture). The guides are no professionals but rather ordinary people who happen to be madly in love with their city. You won't find a better guide than Chris!
The following text is from the official website, as is the picture (used with permission):
Between April and October you can make a Canal Tour in an open boat. This tour takes you through old and new parts of the city of The Hague.
You will see a variety of beautiful buildings and special places, among them the Royal Stables and the royal gardens. You will also see former houses of famous Dutch 17th century people like the painters Paulus Potter, Jan Steen and Jan van Gooyen and the Jewish Pantheist Benedict (Baruch) Spinoza.
Our guides tell you about the history of The Hague and the things you see along the way. You can get your tickets at the tourist information desks (Scheveningen, Central Station and the Wagenstraat [near Station Hollands Spoor]). More information about the route is also available at these tourist information
A tour is about 2 hours and ticket are 9 Euro p.p.
More information in March 2003
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
's-Gravenhage is The Hague's original name as the royal residence or the governmental city (even it had no city rights). 's-Gravenhage is its official name, too, which literally means "The Count's Hedge".
"The Hague" is in Dutch "Den Haag" with the English translation of "The Hedge", while its original name is ''s- Gravenhage", actually "des Graven Hage", meaning "Hedge from the Count".
1. The word "des" is expressing "possession of something". It's an old fashioned way of writing "van de", that is "of the".
2. "Graven" is plural of "Graaf", meaning "Count" in English.
3. "Hage" is just dialect for "Haag/Haga".
... bit of complicated, funny people those The Hague's ...
Travelling around everybody is crazy about their token photographs. When anxious for your just taken pics-to-see the "One-Our-Service" shops all over the world are very popular, in spite of the mostly bad quality.
Well, because of the digital rise these little shops disappeared in The Hague. Maybe at a few around the corner shops you'll be able to do your pics. Though there are the big super shops, malls and special department stores, like HEMA and MEDIA MARKT (both right in the center of The Hague). Here you can bring your films, floppies, xD-Picture card, and other digital stuff ...
See The Hague's location (green flag) along the shore of the Netherlands ...
Once a place to hunt, the royals of Holland used The Hague for administrative purposes; maybe therefore The Hague became the place to the noble prominents with their own rights, growing into the government, and giving themselves air ("kapsones"!). Still The Hague's notabilities are regarded as "kapsones" people speaking their distinguished language.
Well, they "made" The Hague of which the stork is its symbol, a sign you will see everywhere around The Hague.
The Hague's Name >>>
When you are interested into wine-business (and do like a glass of wine) you should visit this legendary distillery out of 1842, right in the center of old The Hague. There are a lot of tellings about this "licensed victualler's shop", so you could experience it your self by informations with the owner ... not that many tourists know about this place.
The place is a museum, too, and belonged once to Van Kleef and Suns family. Although the old center area around got renewed, the wine-shop/distillery remained in old style. Only the interior got renewed some years ago and, Queen Beatrix was represented with the reopening.
They sell some great liquors, corn-wine, Dutch gin and, the well-known "Orange Bitter". You are able to join "taste-events" with a group of 60 persons, or a "Happy Hour" and, even get your own, special bottle of wine with your name on it.
Special note: ... my home is right across this wine-house ...
Distillery Museum Van Kleef
Lange Beestenmarkt 109 - The Hague
This is a typical Hagenese event once a year. More than 120 nationalities inhabit the districts Transvaal, Stationsbuurt and Schilderswijk in The Hague. CITY MONDIAL was set up to promote the multicultural aspect of these quarters. They want to present the area as a tourist vesicatoria where you can shop, drink/eat and have fun. During the very first event in 1995 the Ha-Schi-Ba symbolized the district of Schilderswijk to let Holland know the back street in origine also could show another element of fun, solidarity and happy times without criminality, theft and quarrels.
For one day 2 platforms will be build, where all kind of performers appear, there is a free-market and a multicultural festival-bazaar. The Ha-Schi-Ba still is very colorful, surprising, spiritual, heart-warming; a society of integration and unity. It's worth it to join a wonderful day in the month of August (near Station Hollandspoor).
Every year, The Hague celebrates an event that's called Haagse Koninginnenach (Queen's Night Of The Hague). On this evening there's a lot of live music on different stages (music squares for this night) in the center of The Hague. Over 100.000 people dance their night ...
For Tourists who love music and are able to visit the Netherlands in the last weekend of April this is an absolute MUST !!! If you missed it before .. be sure to be here on April, 29 2006 !! There is NOTHING like it in Holland,... in the world ...
The Hague boasts the most famous night in the whole of "the eve of Queen Beatrix' birthday, Koninginnenach", and all over the Netherlands. It is one huge, swinging party-time night at the entire downtown The Hague's area. Shows by poppy well-known bands, new music talent, too, and a festive fair around the Hofvijver pond! This night is called Koninginnenach; to be pronounced with a really broad Hague accent!
See My VT Page
If you have kids, if you are a kid, or if you'd like to be a kid again for an afternoon, visit Madurodam (English home page is http://www.madurodam.nl/default.asp?lng=en ).
A collection of 1:25-scale miniature Dutch sites, buildings, and attractions, its amazing detail can fool even a good photographer in some of the models.
Madurodam has over 160 models, and includes trains, motorways, an airport and canals, all of which have automated, moving models, and some sounds playing in the background.
On the down side, it's entirely outdoors, and when it rains, it pours! You can hide in the gift shop, but if it's crowded, you'll feel like a bull in a china shop, tipping over every other display.
It's accessible by bus, at George Maduroplein 1.
Mister Salvatore with his parrots.
Photo: You with a bird € 5,= euro please.
On Het Plein (the square) there are many terraces and stately buildings. The former ministry of justice was built in a neo-renaissance style.