According to constructmaterials, the Hague [Dutch dεn ha ː x], officially Dutch ‘s-Gravenhage [sxra ː vən ha ː xə], German and The Hague, French La Haye [la ε], English The Hague [də he ɪ g ], is the Royal seat as well as seat of government and parliament of the Netherlands, capital of the province of South Holland, extends with the district Scheveningen to the North Sea, (2018) 532 560 residents (1830: 56,000, 1900: 206,000, 1960: 606,000 residents);forms with the strongly grown satellite cities Delft, Leidschendam, Rijswijk, Voorburg, Wassenaar, Westland and Zoetermeer an agglomeration of around one million residents in the Randstad Holland. The Hague is the seat of the highest Dutch court (Hoge Raad), the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court and the Permanent Court of Arbitration; International Law Academy, College of Social Studies, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Royal Conservatory of Music and Dance; State Archives, Royal Library; Mauritshuis (with Dutch painting), Museum Mesdag (French and Dutch painting of the 19th century), Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Dutch Museum for Communication and others; Theatre.
The Hague is a congress city, a tourist center and an important transport hub; the industries include metalworking, electrical engineering, chemical, pharmaceutical, printing and food industries. Large companies such as the Royal Dutch / Shell Group (also based in London) are based in The Hague. The Scheveningen district is a seaside resort and fishing port (with fish trade and fish processing).
Most of the medieval buildings of the Binnenhof have been preserved. Its oldest parts include the late Romanesque Rolsaal (around 1250) and the early Gothic knight’s hall with an open roof, built under Count Floris V (* 1254, † 1296); in the south-east extension the council chamber of the court of justice, decorated with wall paintings by G. de Lairesse in 1688 (Lairessesaal); other buildings mainly from the 17th and 18th centuries, including former meeting room (1652–57) of the Dutch estates (states) with a painted wooden ceiling as well as the former meeting room of the general estates of the Dutch Republic and the Trêves hall, both by D. Marot (1697).
To the southwest of the Binnenhof is the Grote Kerk, a late Gothic building (end of the 14th century / mid-15th century); three-aisled choir with a gallery, therein tomb of Admiral J. van Wassernaar Obdam (1667), coats of arms of the Knights of the Golden Fleece (16th century) and stained glass (around 1545). The Kloosterkerk (around 1400) contains stained glass (1925) and a mosaic by J. Thorn-Prikker.
The Nieuwe Kerk, a Renaissance building (1649–56), looks like a central building despite the rectangular floor plan due to the six attached apses. The Old Catholic Church, a »hiding place« (completed in 1772), has a stucco ceiling and carvings (beginning of the 18th century).
One of the secular buildings is the town hall (1564–65, later renovated several times), one of the richest buildings of the Dutch early Renaissance; royal pleasure palace Huis ten Bosch (begun 1645, expanded 1734–37). The former Noordeinde Palace (originally 1533) was rebuilt in 1640 and 1814 (restored after a fire in 1948), the royal palace Lange Voorhout dates from the 18th century.
The buildings of the 20th century include, among others. the Peace Palace (Vredespaleis, 1907–13; today, inter alia, the seat of the International Court of Justice) in historicist style, the department store “De Bijenkorf” (1926, by P. Kramer) as an example of the “Amsterdam School”, buildings by H. P. Berlage, including the Gemeentemuseum (1927-35) and the First Church of Christian Science (1925). G. T. Rietveld created several residential buildings in the 1930s. J. J. P. Oud established, inter alia. the Shell administration building (1938–42) and the Nederlands Congresgebouw (1958–69; congress center); the embassy building of the USA (1957) goes back to M. Breuer. A. van Eyck built a church in 1969 in the Aaltge Noordewierstraat. The modern building complex of the Royal Library was completed in 1982. With the redesign of the city center since the mid-1980s, numerous projects have been created with the participation of important architects (including Joan Busquets; Joe Koenen; M. Graves; R. Krier; architectural office “Office for Metropolitan Architecture”, abbreviation OMA; Sjoerd Soeters). R. Koolhaas built the Dutch dance theater (1984–88), and the “Theater aan het Spui” (1993), R. Meier, was based on designs by H. Hertzberger received the order for the new construction of the town house, which was built between 1990 and 1995, the architecture office Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) built the 140 m high Dutch Ministry of Education (completed in 2003), whose architecture was awarded the International High-Rise Prize of the City of Frankfurt am Main in 2004.
The Hague was built around a castle (Binnenhof) built by the Counts of Holland around 1250. A first civil settlement is documented in 1370. It developed around the Count’s Castle, surrounded by canals. Albrecht von Bayern (* 1330, † 1404) lived here until his death, after which The Hague remained the residence of the counts, and later the Burgundian and Habsburg governors. The Hague experienced a new upswing, the population of which had decreased significantly in the 16th century due to epidemics and fires, when the Dutch estates and the general estates of the Dutch Republic met in the Binnenhof from 1580 onwards. Moritz of Orange again elevated the Binnenhof to the residence of the governors. Although from Charles the Bold Named a city as early as 1470, The Hague was not finally able to achieve city charter until 1811.