You are probably already packing your bag, thinking about a good city-to-beach outfit or wondering what crazy, cool, weird Dutch things you’re going to encounter again tomorrow on your city trip to The Hague. Don’t worry, you’ll love it, but you might get surprised sometimes..
You might already know that The Hague /Den Haag as the Dutch call it, is one of the biggest (probably compared to your home country still very very small..) and most important cities of the Netherlands. It is famous for the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, and of course it’s the seat of the Dutch government and parliament, the Supreme Court, and the Council of State. It makes you wonder why it isn’t our capital, but then again.. who doesn’t fall in love with Amsterdam?
So, these are all quite well-known facts, but what other surprises does The Hague has to offer? Get ready for the Top 10 surprising fun facts about The Hague, and get well prepared for tomorrow!
- You can refer to the citizens of The Hague in two ways: Hagenaar or Hagenees. What’s the difference? There are two theories: 1. Some people say that there is a separation between Hagenaars living on sand, and Hagenezen living on peat, as The Hague is built partially on sand dunes and partially on peat. Generally, the wealthier neighborhoods are built on sand, and the poorer neighborhoods on peat. 2. We call the more affluent citizens who speak so-called “bekakt” (posh) Haags, Hagenaars, and the citizens who speak “plat” (vulgar) Haags, Hagenezen. So keep this in mind while talking about them tomorrow!
- Den Haag actually has an amazingly beautiful skyline! It may not offer as many skyscrapers as the famous skylines of New York or Singapore, but it definitely has some pretty special buildings..
- Did you know that several famous movies have been (partially) shot in The Hague? Not only the famous Dutch movie Zwartbook was shot here, but hotties George Clooney and Brad Pitt have also walked in this city for Ocean’s Twelve! Also an alternative music video of Coldplay’s Viva la Vida was filmed in The Hague.
- The Hague is home to more than 150 international organizations and houses all foreign embassies and government ministries of the Netherlands. This means that there are 98 Embassies and 12 consulates in this city! Therefore The Hague boosts a very culturally rich population.
- The Hague has a quite big Indo-community, as Indonesia was a former Dutch colony. Nowadays, The Hague even has the largest festival in the world for Indo culture: the Tong Tong Fair.
- The Hague is officially named “s-Gravenhage” (try to pronounce that if you dare!). It literally means “the count’s woods” in reference to its original use as hunting grounds for the Count of Holland around the year 1230.
- Scheveningen, the beach you’re going to tomorrow, is with its’ 10 million visitors a year the most popular beach town in the Benelux area (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg).
- Next to its popular beach, you can find a lot of cool attractions in Scheveningen, such as the miniature city Madurodam and Europe’s first 360° IMAX-cinema the Omniversum. How does that work? The films are displayed on a huge projection screen, which has the form of a hemisphere that passes above and below the public, thus the viewer literally stands in the middle of the movie. I can’t actually wait to try this out myself!
- You already know that The Hague isn’t the capital of the Netherlands, but did you know it’s one of only four cities in the world that is the seat of national government, but not the capital of the country?
- To finish this list with a bang, The Hague is very famous for the TV-show Oh Oh Cherso. You can see it as the Dutch version of Jersey or Geordie Shore, with about the same amount of partying and lack of brains. (It is actually pretty hilarious) This program follows a couple of “hagenezen” while they spend their summer in a luxurious villa in Chersonissos, Greece. To give you a little impression:
I hope this has made you even more excited about the city trip. Keep in mind all these fun facts while walking through the city tomorrow, maybe you can impress your guides and friends a bit, and I hope that you’ll have a lot of fun!
By Melodie Zöllner