The "Buitenhof" (outer court) were originally a part of the original castle that was built during the 13th century.
It was a basically a square surrounded by walls. Inside these walls were military houses and stables for the horses of the Counts of Holland.
The Hofvijver (Court Pond) surrounds the Binnenhof is where the Dutch Parliament is currently located.
Until the 17th century the pond surrounded the whole Binnenhof for protection so that you could only reach it by bridges and gates.
The Binnenhof (inner court) has been the location of meetings for the Dutch parliament since 1446. Originally it was a castle that was built in the 13th century and was enlarged by successive counts.
Binnenhof was also the site where the statesman Johan van Oldenbarnevelt was executed in 1619 and you will find a statue of him outside the grounds.
The buildings are also open to public and you can take a short guided tour.
Since 1995 The Hague has a new City Hall (Stadthuis) Building, which is pretty impressive piece of architecture!
designed by the American architect Richard Meier, the building serves for many purposes including the municipal archives and the huge public library. Located right in the center, close to the central train station this building can't be missed or ignored! It is one of the most modern buildings in the city. Worth a look inside! Don't miss it.
This is the cnetral of the building. All meeting rooms open into the hall. Dutch architect Pi de Bruijn wanted to emphasize the open character of the building, to stress spaciousness and light, therefore the roof is made of glass. The open construction also a has a metaphorical meaning: the parliament of a democracy should be open and accessible to the public.
The work of art:
the 4 marble panels were once in the session Hall of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands. The panels were preserved and put together by the Dutch artist Lex Wegchelaar. The 4 panels represent 4 famous legislators: Mose, Solon(Greek politician in the 6th century B.C.), justinianus (Byzantine Emperor, 500 A.D.), And Napoleon.
The Latin Text around the sculpture reads, translated in english: "When the administration of justice fails, war begins."
The colors of the plenary hall are like the Dutch landscape: blue sky and green grass. The desk are made of Swiss pearwood. Notice the absence of daylight. The policital decisions are to be made in a neutral atmosphere. Each representative has her/his own seat. The peacock-blue leather seats have been designed by the architect Pi de Bruijn. The Back seats have been embossed with the emblem of the Second Chamber.There are 230 seats in the Public Gallery, The first row reserved for the parliament press. Studio by the Dutch Broadcasting Co. Cmaeras are fully automatic. Walls behind are made of very thin stianless steel to enhance the acoustics of the walls. The oil paintings on the wall have been made by Rudi van de Wint. Dutch painter who spent year and half in a studio in the dunes working on the paintings. Walking along the paintings you will sense the movement it evokes becuse of the different sizes and positions of the panels.
Dutch Parlaiment, the States-General, is compose of 2 chambers, the Second chamber(Lower House) and the First Chamber(Upper House). The Second Chamber consist of 150 members and is derectly elected by the Dutch people for a period of 4 years. The 75 members of the First Chamber are not directly elected but chosen byt he members of the 12 Provincial Councils. These people are elected by the Dutch people every 4 years.
A system of proportional representation is used in all Dutch elections so that the distribution of seats corresponds as closely as possibleto the distribution of votes.
In the Netherlands no single party will ever get the majority to form a government. Therefore they always have coalition cabinet.
The oldest part of this medieval earl's castle, the Knights' Hall and the 'Rolgebouw' behind it, date from the 13th century. In the course of the centuries, the Binnenhof was renovated and expanded continuously. As early as the 15th century the Binnenhof housed the County Council and in 1585 it became the seat of the States General of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.
This was surely the highlight of my daytrip to Den Haag:
The Binnehof is a medieval complex of many buildings where most of the Netherlands' political life takes place. Both parliament chambers (eerste en tweede kamer) as well as many government offices can be found here. In the center of the Binnenhof is the Ridderzaal, the oldest part of the complex where different events take place - the most popular is the Prinsjesdag, the day when the Queen presents the government's plans for the next year. The Binnenhof contains also a memorial stone to remember the execution of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt.
In the basement of the Ridderzaal, you will find a visitor's center. For only 6 € you will get a movie about the history of the Netherlands (with focus on the royal family) and a guided tour to the Ridderzaal and one of the two chambers. The guided tour is excellent and you have the chance to ask whatever you want about the Binnenhof and dutch politics. This tour is the only chance to visit Ridderzaal and the parliament buildings.
The Hague is the political center of The Netherlands. One of the places you can visit is the Second Chamber (Lower House). You can attend one of the meetings that are held here, or do a guided tour when there are no meetings. Most meetings are on tuesdays, wednesdays and thursdays. There are 230 seats available for guests.
Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (September 14, 1547, Amersfoort – May 13, 1619, The Hague) was a Dutch statesman who played an important role in the Dutch struggle for independence from the Spanish.
A short walk from the Houses of Parliament is a commemorative monument of one of the founding fathers of the Netherlands.
The Ridderzaal (Knights Hall) was built way back around 1230 inside the original castle as a part of the palace of Count Floris IV of Holland.
Each year the Dutch Queen holds her much anticipated address to Parliament here.
Count of Holland Floris V (son of William II) completed the original 700 year old castle, built by Count of Holland Floris IV and, created by William II. These buildings now form the INNER COURTYARD (BINNENHOF), including the inner Knight's Hal (Ridderzaal). This fairy-like building started out as a hunting retreat for the royals of Holland. The beautiful Hofvijver (Court's Lake) was dug about 1350 just to the Northerly site and still attracts a lot of tourists.
This is the building where the Dutch throne is located; where you can hear the Queen for her speech to Parliament each year. It is the heart of Dutch parliamentary life; when walking across the Courtyard you get the opportunity to meet ministers, and also MP's, angry protesters and camera crew in the wild. The building is open to public; find the small gift shop where you can get a (short) guided tour.
Day Of The Little Prince & Queen's Speech
Statue of King Willem II ('the hero of Waterloo') on the Buitenhof. Well-known as the Hero of Waterloo, where he personally commanded the Dutch soldiers of the alliance against French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. A less well-known thing is that the King is said to have been bisexual, something that was written in a book in 2007 and caused a bit of a row.
The Binnenhof houses the First and Second Chambers, the heart of the Dutch government.
The Second Chamber is the representation of the Dutch people (The Parliament) since 1446 and the First Chamber is the Senate.
The history dates back to 1229 when the first grounds were bought by Count Floris IV of Holland.
Het Torentje, or 'small tower' is one of the most important buildings from the Houses of Parliament. Important meetings are here between the Prime-minister and his ministers. Right now the lower windows are covered with wood, maybe because there were some threats!
The hofvijver was made around 1350. Its nice to walk along the hofvijver you got a beautiful view at the Mauritshuis, het torentje (little tower), het binnenhof and the latest addition of scycrapers in The hague.