A Day In The Hague & Mauritshuis

August 18, 2016

By Tab Byrum

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All my life I have heard of The Hague in the Netherlands and to be very honest I thought it was a building but it’s a city, I guess it’s just the only city I know of with the word “the” in it besides The Vatican. Anyway, we decided to visit The Hague as it’s the center of not only the Dutch government but also the home of the U.N.’s International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court. We traveled by train to The Hague which was about an hour outside of Amsterdam, The Hague sits on the western coast of the Netherlands next to the North Sea. My friend Maartje had told me about a wonderful museum in The Hague called Mauritshuis (it was originally a private home) which houses over 800 artistic objects with most of them being paintings by Dutch artists such as Rembrandt, Ver Meer, and Holbein, so we set that as our destination in Google Maps and walked over. Mauritshuis is a wonderful museum, it feels much more intimate than a lot of museums since it’s in a former home and it also allows you get very closely to the works of art and see detail. After a couple of hours at Mauritshuis we explored the city of The Hague, walking through the Dutch Parliament building, we found the Dutch Royal Palace, explored several shops and had a wonderful lunch of salads at ‘t Goude Hooft (The Gold Head) and of course took lots and lots of pictures. Here’s a peek at our day in The Hague, Enjoy!!!

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The Netherlands has a wonderful café scene, much like Paris and with wonderful weather in the 70’s most of the Summer it’s very enjoyable. 

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This is the outside of Mauritshuis, you go underground to enter the museum.

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This gives you an idea of the rooms in the Mauritshuis, each room was a different color of wallpaper and each room had these wonderful Venetian chandeliers. 

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I LOVE this painting by Peter Paul Rubens from 1616-1617 entitled Old Woman and Boy with Candles. I love how Rubens painted the light from the candle and how it illuminates their faces, the colors he used and their faces and how they portray youth against old and wise. 

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This is a close-up of a portion of a painting entitled Ice Scene by Hendrick Avercamp. I wanted to show you the color and detail in the picture, notice how the reflections of the people on the ice, the painting is from 1610. 

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This room had amazing paintings done directly onto the paneling on the walls, you can also see people looking up, there are also panels painted on the ceiling. Everything about this room was beautiful, from the floor to the ceiling. 

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A little closer look at some of the painted paneling on the walls. 

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A self-portrait of a very young Rembrandt van Rijn. 

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This room is actually a landing on the top floor of the staircase, there are several rooms that open up onto this landing. 

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This is the Goldfinch by Carol Fabritius from 1654. I was very excited when we came upon this painting, I did not know it was in Mauritshuis. Goldfinch is the subject of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel called The Goldfinch by author Donna Tartt, I loved the book and now they are making it into a movie, the painting was in America a while back but I wasn’t able to get to see it then, I love stumbling onto something like this, a wonderful surprise. 

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This is the largest painting in the museum called The Young Bull from 1647. The detail in this painting is amazing, I’ve included some up close pics below to better see the detail. 

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After leaving Mauritshuis we strolled next door to the Dutch Parliament building and into this courtyard before heading back out onto the street. 

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Michael grabbed a quick snack of a herring sandwich, beware of the seagulls, I took pictures of flowers while he ordered. 

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This is the Royal Palace in The Hague, this palace is mainly a workplace where the king does his work on a daily basis. It’s called Noordeinde Palace and is one of three official residences of the Dutch monarch. 

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Contemporary furnishings are very popular in the Netherlands, this was the inside of a store I couldn’t resist on the right, on the left is the sidewalk outside the same shop. 

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This is the menu for the Gold Head restaurant where we had lunch, the food was amazing.

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We both opted for a salad, gotta watch those waistlines on vacation.

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This was probably the best Salad Nicoise I’ve ever had, the tuna was amazing. 

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Of course, wine makes everything better.

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Two full and happy travelers. 

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I had to include this picture just because of the wonderful baby carriage this woman was pushing then I noticed her wonderful shoes, notice the heels. 

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Throughout The Hague there were these planters where the Geraniums were climbing up and forming towers, mom always plants Geraniums so I took this and texted it to her. There’s a scaffolding inside that the flowers are climbing up. 

We had a great time in The Hague, it’s a beautiful city with lots of old and traditional elements and very contemporary architecture. Definitely worth a visit. 

All words and images
are my own.

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2 comments

  • Sharon Cullison

    Wow I learned so much Did not know The Hague was a city Always thought it was a building Did not know The Goldfinch was there Loved that book too Did not know it is going to be a movie can’t wait The Hague I must see

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