Royal The Hague, The Hague
This is the quadrangle "Square 1813" (Plein 1813), dominated by some large statues and, the largest 19th century monument in Holland. This beautiful Monument of Independence, commemorating the re-establishment of the realm of The Netherlands, after the French occupation, was unveiled on 17th November 1869 and on the same day the name Willemspark was changed to Plein 1813.
Plein 1813 used to be part of the "Willemspark" (once some fields), designed by Crown Prince Willem Frederik, the later King Willem II, the great-great grandfather of Queen Beatrix. The 4 quarters on this oval-shaped square arose around the intersection Alexanderstraat - Sophialaan. To me this area is upmost photogenic to make some great pics, included the fashionable ones ...
The Royal Palace "Noordeinde" is one of many palaces in The Hague. It was build in 1533 and belonged to the "Orange" family (the Royal Family of the Netherlands) since 1584. It has been the home of different kings and queens between for ages.
Here Queen Beatrix usually works "from nine-to-five" (watch the flag, when she is in). Adjacent to the palace are the palace garden (open to the public) and the "Royal Stables'" (see furtheron). With royal events the square is over crowded with people ...
Just for one day the cities in the Netherlands celebrate the Queens-day on April 30. On that day people in Amsterdam started to offer for sale all sorts of gewgaws, like a fancy-fair. Soon you could buy all kind of things, with bottom-prices.
The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht followed its example and for now you can find open free-market stalls in the street all over the Netherlands. Living right in the center of The Hague "our" street belongs to the very visited and viewed places ... It's crowded, festive, and funny. Funny because you cannot reach your home by car ...
Note: ... see the orange-coloured people, using orange in their clothes (it's the color of the royal family!)
When you're going for a walk to the Royal Palace Noordeinde, center of The Hague, you could visit the Royal Gardens & Royal Stables just behind the Palace (open to public between sunrise and sunset). These Royal Gardens aren't that spectacular, though it could be a nice walk in the park ... (see my brother recently March 2005 within a snowy Royal Garden area)
Head for the Prinsestraat, a narrow street with a lot of shops and restaurants. The Prinsestraat will change into the Prinsessewal with on your right hand side the entrance to the Royal Gardens.
If you proceeds your walk and turn to the right you will notice an historic building with an arched entrance and a large wall with windows: this complex contains the Royal Stables. If you're lucky you may see the beautiful royal horses going for an outing ...
They´re actually the New Royal Stables. Build between 1876-1879 to accomodate the horses of the royal family that were housed until then in stables behind the Pagehuis on the Lange Voorhout.
Since 1998 it is also the place where the golden carriage is kept. This carriage is used every year at the 3rd tuesday of september to start the governemental year when Queen Beatrix goes with this carriage to the Hall of Knights to address the people.
In the Hall of Knights is the throne that the queen uses for official speeches such as the one on the 3rd tuesday in september to open the parliamental year.. There used to be 2 thrones but when Prince Claus passed away it was considered more appropriate to have one throne instead of an empty one.
In the back of the throne is carved a 'B' for Beatrix. When she hands her reign down to Willem-Alexander the wooden piece that contains the 'B' will be replaced with one that has an 'W' on it. Cheaper then building a whole new throne.. And there is already one 'W" in storage..
Visiting The Hague you absolutely must to go to Binnenhof! The Hall of Knights can only be visited with a guided tour, don't miss the opportunity.
Every 3rd Tuesday of a month September (Prinsjesdag) the queen of the Netherlands is giving her speech in the Hall of Knights, telling the whole nation about the budget decisions for the next year.
Besides this Hall of Knights is one of the most famous buildings in The Hague. It has a uniquely designed oak roof, reconstructed in the 19th century.
Don't miss the tour, it includes a lot of info about the Binnehof castle, visit to the Hall of Knights, and the parliament building.
The stain window are the coat of arms of a number of old Dutch cities. In the large Rose window over the gallery coat of arms are depicted of the Houses of Bavaria, Burgundy, Habsburg and others. members of these noble houses have played a role in the history of Netherlands.
The Hague developed in the 13th century as a settlement around a hunting lodge, built by order of the Count of Holland. The hall of Knights was the reception and party hall of this lodge. In the 15th century, Philip the Good held meetings here with the Knights of the Golden Fleece. Another member of the House of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, reside here for some time in order to administer justice. During the Napoleonic days it was used as a hospital and stables.
Since the restoration, which was carried out around 1900, the hall has been used for ceremonila occasions at national and international level. The most important ceremony takes place every year on the 3rd Tuesday of September called "Prinsjesdag," Queens day. The Queen reads a speech from the trone that address the policy of the government for the coming year . Members of the Upper and Lower Chambers, Royal House, Ministers, State Secretaries, Council members of the state, Corp Diplomatique and invited guest are present and the ceremony can be seen live on television.
The throne of the Queen is located on a snall dais, where the Lett B for Beatrice is carved on top, coat of arms of the Netherlands is embroidered at the back of the chair. The medieval roof is shaped of the bottom of an inverted ship.. The halls have the 12 flags of the provinces.
This is where Queen Beatrix has her offices. I thought it was funny that "her" palace was in a normal shopping street - a very nice shopping street though!
She doesn't live here though but in Huis Ten Bosch in Haagse Bos.
This is a view somewhat further away from the palace.
You can see the statue of William III standing in front of it.
I think William once lived here but I forgot the specifics :-)
VT members in front of it as well
Everywhere in the Hall of Knights you find small details like these wooden statues along the corners of walls and windows. And hidden between the beams of the roof are so called 'listeners'. Small wooden faces would make sure you'd tell the truth..
The roof is exceptional as well. In that time it was the largest unsupported roof in Europe. The beams support the 38 long and 17.8 meters wide roof on 26 meters from the floor.
The Hall of Knights is build between 1248 and 1280 and was very impressive and grand for its time.
Since the time of the counts, the Hall has served as stable , as a barrack and even as a lottery-hall.. But in '94-'95 the Dutch senate had their meetings there when their normal location was up for renovation...
Nowadays it is only used for special occasions like the 3rd tuesday of september when the queen delivers her speech..
Tours are given every day except for mondays and are from 10 to 16 on the hour.
OUR BELOVED QUEEN BEATRIX AND PRINCE CLAUS..
Aren't they a sweet couple??
Now she must miss him dearly, since he died 6th October 2002 at age 76, especially because he was her help and stay and the children and grandchildren will miss him too, too sad...
He was a great husband, father and one of us, the Dutch people: we all loved him.
A real noble character he had.......
I would call this palace: the queen's HEADQUARTERS!
It is here that she works, has her office and staff and we all love her because she is so completely devoted to our country and population..........she works all days and most hours of the night