The house originated as a merger of different properties in the 17th century. Around 1700 it functioned as a town house of Hans Willem Bentinck (1649-1709), Earl of Portland, and it stayed in the hands of the Bentinck family until the beginning of the 19th century.
In the 18th century it had an elaborate Louis XIV style façade with profiled bays.
Unfortunately this was lost with later restorations and renovations.
Hans Willem Bentinck was the favourite and most important politician and diplomat as well as personal friend of William III (1650-1702), Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of the Dutch republic and King of England.
Bentinck acted as a diplomat between England and the Republic, as an adviser to the king in his political, administrative and private affairs and as an army commander. His son, Willem Bentinck (1704-1774), who used the town house as well, was adviser to Stadtholder William IV (1711-1751) of the Republic and was in fact instrumental in making him stadtholder and making the stadtholdership hereditary for William’s offspring.
Some time ago, the building, a state monument, was restored again (as you can see in the first pictures) and equipped with modern environment friendly features.
Today it is used by the Personal Information Authority and by the Justice and Security Inspectorate.
Narrow building with ornate shopfront and elegant extension with balcony, Wagenstraat. It was built in 1911 in the elegant style of the period with obvious Art Nouveau influences.
The ground floor used to house the locally famous lunchroom “Klink”. In the 1980s i lived round the corner and i was a regular guest, as it also served dinner at an extremely reasonable price. The dishes were decently old fashioned Dutch with pork or beef, cooked vegetables and either boiled potatoes with gravy or baked potatoes with mayonnaise. Most famous however were their fantastic rolls and buns.
Today there is an Asian take-away. Maybe someday i should give that a try…
Very small house, Dunne Bierkade. This municipal architectural monument was originally built in the 18th century and it still retains its 18th century character with its Louis XIV style cornice.
When built, Dunne Bierkade was still the edge of town. It was a quay where important business was done, where money was made, with a lot of traffic in the canal which was an important waterway to the hinterland and to other towns and cities in the Holland province. The rich intermingled with the poor.
For a long time Dunne Bierkade has been partly chic, partly shabby, and also part of the extended red light district in the city centre. Today the quay is a popular place for having a sip and a bite.
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.
Governmental office building, Rijnstraat, next to Central Station.
The building contains the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and Infrastructure & Environment, the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) and the Repatriation and Departure Service (DT&V).
Originally it was designed by the architect Jan Hoogstad (1930-2018) and built in 1992 as the then new and state-of-the-art Ministry of Housing.
The building became almost twice as high as planned and as such it became the base of other high-rise buildings between it and the city centre.
The requirements for the new ministry were almost impossible to meet.
The place being a traffic hub with a lot of noise and environmental pollution because of heavy traffic, it also needed ventilation and windows which could be opened by the civil servants.
Further on bikers and pedestrians had to be able to easily reach the city centre and Central Station.
Last but not least a special provision had to be made for the tramway viaduct from Central Station to the city centre.
The result was a very special building with big conservatories with big green plants.
By 2009 a ministry of housing was thought no longer to be important, as the free market would solve all problems.
The remaining departments for infrastructure and environmental issues remained in the building, while new places had to be created for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the other services.
Temporary car park, Leyweg corner Florence Nightingaleweg. The car park (pictures of which were taken in 2020) has now been cleared for building activities (see last picture, taken recently).
This posting refers back to the first posting of the series Façades of The Hague back in 2016. Click here to see it.
This used to be my first place of residence in The Hague. Well, of course in a way it still is, but the building itself where i lived was broken down mid last decade. It was the eye hospital, a rather elegant building designed by Sjoerd Schamhart (1919-2007).
As a Royal Academy student i rented a room there in the nurse’s house, which was quite cheap and comfortable. I lived there for some five years until i got a studio at Stille Veerkade in the city centre.