As you may know already: nothing is more terrifying to me than doing the same thing day every day. Living in the same city for over 7 years now is quite the challenge too. So thank god for Open Monument day. One day in the year all Dutch Monuments are open to public. Amazing old buildings and historical landmarks open their doors for the public. A great day enjoy some new things in the city.
Usually I miss these kind of events that take place and only ready about it afterwards but this year, although it said Sunday on my calendar, I made it this Saturday! I love to explore new things and Open Monument Day is a great way to get to know your own city. The Hague has a lot of impressive architecture and a great history of politics and of course traces of the Royal Family. I think over the years I have gotten to know The Hague quite a bit. I try every new lunchroom that opens in town. Go to the galleries, museums and try to enjoy it to the fullest. This is a great day to explore the city without spending a crazy amount of money. So here is a little top 5 of places to visit while staying in The Hague.
1 Pulchri Studio // Art Gallery
This Art Gallery is my all time favorite in town. This well known art society dates back to 1847. Run by artists and art lovers this place keeps buzzing. The gallery is located in the beautiful historical district of The Hague and doesn't look too bad itself. Downstairs you can find some original interiors and upstairs the large glass panel roof brings in the daylight. You can see and purchase paintings, sculptures, photographs and, well, everything that meets 'Art' you can find here. Pulchri Studio has new shows every few weeks, is free of charge and is open for public 6 days a week. If you are passionate about art this is a great place to look around, find some new inspiration and enjoy a glass of wine on the terrace. If you would like to know what's going on check their calendar on the website.
2 Paleis Kneuterdijk // The Council of State
The Council is one of the High Councils of State regulated by the Constitution, which carry out their tasks independently of the government. The Council is situated in Paleis Kneuterdijk that was build in 1730. The palace was the home of several generations of Royal Family and changed into government offices around 1937. So the building itself is like a patchwork of architectural diversity. A must see is the gothic hall that was built around 1840. A room with stained glass windows and a dramatic arched roof.
3 Hotel Des Indes // Luxerious grandeur
This elegant hotel in the heart of The Hague was built in 1858 and first in use as city palace before becoming a hotel in 1881. The luxurious hotel has welcomed royalty and celebrities from Dalai Lama to Rolling Stones. The hotel is like a story book where great ball room dances took place and history was written.
The ground interior, lounge and restaurant is an extravagant place filled with colorful patterns and golden detailing, with vaulted ceilings and elegant draperies. If you want to experience the one of a kind atmosphere make sure you book a high tea or sit down for a glass of bubbles in the salon. You can also watch the Dutch documentary that was made about this iconic hotel.
4 Regentes // Art Deco swimming pool transformed into theater
This Art Deco building was built in 1920 and was the first indoor swimming pool in Europe at the time. Nowadays it is the home of Theater De Regentes. The interior still has typical swimming pool elements. Little signs with typography, the large pool is transformed into a lounge that still shows the original pool tiles and in the main theater you can still see the little dressing rooms on the side of the hall. I am a big fan of theater and performing arts and love to see what happens behind the scenes. The building is a fun mix of Art deco and creative energy. If you want to look inside, go see a play.
5 Kloosterkerk // Protestant church and concert hall
I am not religious but I enjoy seeing churches and temples where ever i go. The Kloosterkerk is a protestant church members of the royal family like Princess Beatrix visit frequently. The church has a dramatic exterior and the original foundations of the building date back to 1540. If you are curious to look inside you can attend a sunday service or visit one of their musical concerts.