Façades of The Hague #148

Koninklijke Schouwburg (Royal Theatre), Korte Voorhout corner Schouwburgstraat.

The present theatre was originally built in 1766 as an hôtel-particulier, a grand town house, designed by Pieter de Swart (1709-1772), former court architect of the Prince of Orange, for Charles Christian, prince of Nassau-Weilburg (1735-1788). Charles Christian was married to princess Carolina (1743-1787), sister to prince William V of Orange (1748-1806), stadtholder of the Dutch Republic.

Being the Dutch stadtholder’s brother in law, Charles Christian thought he needed a palace in The Hague, as, if young William V would die, Carolina would take over as stadtholder.

Also William V and Charles Christian were both members of the Nassau clan.

However, already in 1769 Charles Christian returned to Weilburg in Germany.

Because of political problems between the Dutch republic and the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, Charles Christian quitted his Dutch political and military jobs in the Republic in 1784.

By that time the palace was still not finished.

Only the central part stood, while the north and south wings still had to be built.

Also Pieter de Swart had died eleven years before.

What might have become one of his grandest works (he left quite a few stately buildings for the super-rich in The Hague , amongst others Lange Voorhout Palace, the townhouse at 19 Herengracht and Assendelft House at Westeinde) became an unfinished and obsolete edifice.

The rulers of the Batavian Revolution (1794-1799) had no affinity with this landmark of the hated Orange-Nassau dynasty.

In 1802 it was decided to refurbish the building and turn it into a theatre, and in 1804 it opened as the Nieuwe Haagse Stadsschouwburg (New Hague City Theatre).

The present theatre was most recently restored in the 1990s by Charles Vandenhove (1927-2019), who gave it its present outlook.

© Villa Next Door 2022

All pictures were taken in March 2020.

Bertus Pieters

Façades of The Hague from #146 onwards: https://villanextdoore3.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #1 – 71: https://villanextdoor.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

Façades of The Hague #72 – 145: https://villanextdoor2.wordpress.com/category/facades-of-the-hague/

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