Den Haag (The Hague) is the third largest city after Amsterdam and Rotterdam west of the Netherlands. It is the seat of the Dutch Government, the Parliament and the Council of State. All embassies and international organisations are found in Den Haag. The Hague originated in the early part of the 13th century and during the latter part of the 16th century The Hague became the location of the government of the Dutch Republic. Since the days of Napoleon in the early 19th century The Hague was officially called a city and granted special privileges only given to cities of the Netherlands.
There are numerous old churches dating back from the 15th century and old houses from 18th century which were built for diplomats and affluent Dutch families. The Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands lives and works here. The city sustained damages from World War II, walls torn down by the Nazi occupants and historical areas damaged from being mistakenly bombed. But the city seemed to have recover quickly and was rebuilt to what is now a greener city compared to the rest of the country. The modern city is a combination of the more affluent Hagenaars (stuck-up) along with the poorest Hagenezen (common) inhabitants.
We visited the city recently as we had to collect our visa from the Japanese Embassy for our next posting to Japan. It was a couple of hours train ride from Nijmegen and hoping on the tram to our destination was very easy. Walking around the city centre was even more interesting as it was a milder day and everything we wanted to see was quite central.
In and amongst the impressive 19th century architecture, very commonly found in the centre of Den Haag, are some beautiful modern ones as well. We had lunch at Deluca Cafe, inside the Passage. The cafe itself was a mixture of modern amenities with a touch of eastern decor. We sat on a corner table that allowed us to view on a tv monitor live video feed from the kitchen. So when we placed our orders my hubby, being a chef himself, made note on how long it took them to prepare his meal.
As we continued exploring around the city centre we found more interesting images.
Den Haag is filled with old architectural delights which is ideal for taking photos. And as the weather was mild that day it allowed us to comfortably walk around and enjoy the few hours we had exploring the city centre.