Trip in Den Haag, the royal capital of the Netherlands

荷兰帝都海牙之旅

Den Haag is a city on the west coast of Netherlands bordering the North Sea. It’s well known for the International Court of Justice of the United Nations. The city’s name originates from the name ‘des Graven hage’ in the 15th century which means “The Count’s Wood”. When you travel in Netherlands, you could take one day to look at it. The city is not large and its public transportation is very convenient. Most people know that Amsterdam is the capital of Netherlands but they may not know that Den Haag is the royal capital and the seat of government.

海牙是荷兰西海岸与北海接壤的一座城市。 它以联合国的海牙国际法庭而闻名。 这座城市的名字来源于 15 世纪的名字“des Graven hage”,意思是“伯爵的森林”。 当你在荷兰旅行时可以花一天时间了解一下它的历史。这座城市不大,公共交通十分便利。相信大多数人都知道阿姆斯特丹是荷兰的首都,但可能不知道海牙却是皇家的首都和政府所在地。

I took the RandstadRail tram from Rotterdam to Den Haag central station in the sunny morning of September 7th 2020. It’s an historical city perfectly combined with modernity and history. The train station is in the city center, just a stone’s throw away from the area of government office. This area has an old history. Faraway at this side of road I could see some pedestrians walking slowly across the ancient arches. Occasionally, at the street corner, some trolley cars passed by me with a soft silvery tinkling. Here I could really feel a tinge of the old past.

2020 年 9 月 7 日阳光明媚的清晨,我从鹿特丹乘坐 RandstadRail 地铁前往海牙中央车站。这是一座完美结合现代与历史的古老名城。火车站就位于市中心,距政府办公区仅一步之遥。 这个地区有着悠久的历史。 路这边远远地遥望行人缓步穿过古老的拱门。 不经意间的转角,有轨电车与我擦身而过,发出柔和清脆的叮当声。 此刻一种莫名的历史沧桑感油然而生。

Statue King Willem II

When I travelled in European city, I always paid attention to every statue erected in public square. The figures that could not speak represented the history of the city or the country perfectly. The bronze equestrian statue of King William II at the square Buitenhof is a replica of the equestrian statue of King William II by the French sculptors Antonin Mercié and Victor Peter, which was erected in Place Guillaume II in Luxembourg in 1884. During the reign of King William II, the Netherlands became a parliamentary democracy with the new constitution of 1848. Behind the statue, it is the lake called Hofvijver. The houses around the square were the lovely traditional Belgium triangle houses.

行在欧洲之时,我总是着眼于广场上竖立的每一尊雕像。这些不会说话的塑像完美诠释了每一个城市或国家的历史。 Buitenhof广场上的这座威廉二世国王的骑马铜像是1884年在卢森堡纪尧姆二世广场上竖立的雕像复制品。法国雕塑家安东宁默西和维克多彼得设计的该雕塑。在威廉二世的统治期间荷兰在1848 年的新宪法下成为议会民主制国家。雕像后面是名为霍夫维耶弗的湖。广场周围环绕的民居是传统的比利时三角房子。

Hofvijver 

The most representative and inviting view of this city is the lake Hofvijver. In the middle of the lake, there is a small island with plants and trees. These ancient buildings with numerous small chimneys at the waterside are the government complex of Dutch republic since 1584. The city of Den Haag has a history of more than 700 years. Opposite to the lake, there is a piece of green land with long benches. Travelers could take a short rest under umbrage and look at the historical buildings in the surrounding. They kept the original appearance in medieval times.

这座城市最具代表性和吸引力的景观是霍夫维耶弗湖。 在湖的中央,有一个小岛,上面种满了植物和树木。 这些矗立在水边有众多小烟囱的古老建筑是自 1584 年以来荷兰共和国的政府建筑群。海牙这座城市足足已有 700 多年的历史。湖对面是一片绿地,布置着长凳。 游客可以在树影婆娑中稍作休息,环视周围保留了中世纪的原始外貌的历史建筑。

Mauritshuis

Another historic building in the lakeside is the art museum, Maurituis. The museum houses the Royal Cabinet of Paintings which consists of 854 objects, mostly Dutch Golden Age paintings. It was the residence of count John Maurice, the governor of Dutch Brazil, and the Prince of Nassau-Siegen in the 17th century.

湖边的另一座历史建筑是莫里斯艺术博物馆。该博物馆收藏了包括 854 件物品的皇家珍品内藏,其中主要是荷兰黄金时代的绘画。它曾经是 17 世纪荷属巴西总督以及拿骚-锡根亲王约翰·莫里斯伯爵的住所。

Girl with a Pearl Earring 

The most famous oil painting of this museum is the ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’. It was created by the Dutch Golden Age painter Johannes Vermeer in 1665. It depicts a European girl wearing an exotic dress, an oriental turban, and a very large pearl as an earring. This painting is as famous as the ‘Mona Lisa’ since both young girls in each painting have an enigmatic smile on their beautiful faces. Vermeer has a wonderful mastery of light effect and he used chiaroscuro rather than line to create form. The reflection on her lips and on the earring show the effect of light on different surfaces. This painting is no doubt the centerpiece of the museum. Even faraway from the museum, the banner of this painting could be seen clearly.

这座博物馆中最著名的油画是《戴珍珠耳环的女孩》。 它由荷兰黄金时代的画家约翰内斯·维米尔(Johannes Vermeer)于 1665 年创作。它描绘了一个身着异国情调的连衣裙,头戴东方头巾,以及一颗巨大珍珠作为耳环的欧洲女孩。这幅画与《蒙娜丽莎》一样著名。这两幅画中的年轻女孩美丽的脸上都挂着一丝神秘的微笑。维米尔对光线效果有着出色的掌控,他使用明暗对比而不是线条来塑造外形。女孩的嘴唇和耳环上的反射展示了光线在不同表面上的效果。这幅画无疑是博物馆的镇馆之宝。即使在远处,也能清晰看到这幅画的宣传横幅。

Binnenhof

Alongside the Mauritshuis, there is an ancient path of bricks leading towards the quiet inner courtyard of Binnenhof. The Binnenhof is a series of government complex. It houses the meeting place of both houses of the States General of the Netherlands and the Ministry of General Affairs. The houses look like the medieval gothic castles. They were built in 13th century and were the oldest Parliament buildings in the world. Even nowadays they are still in use and the North Wing is still the meeting place of the Upper House. The coat arm of Dutch Republic and the House of Nassau is a blue checkered shield with a lion grasping a sword in one hand and a bundle of arrows in the other. This kind of lion could be observed frequently in the Dutch royal building, for example on the lintel of the arch.

在莫里斯艺术博物馆旁边,有一条铺满红砖的古老道路通往安静的内院。Binnenhof 内院是一系列政府建筑。它是荷兰国家议会和参众两院的议会场所。这些看起来像中世纪的哥特式城堡的建筑建于 13 世纪,是世界上最古老的议会建筑。 时至今日,它们仍在正常使用,建筑群的北翼仍是上议院的议会场所。荷兰共和国和拿骚家族的徽章是一个蓝色的格子底以及一只狮子一手握着剑,另一只手握着一束箭。这种造型的狮子经常出现在荷兰皇家建筑中,例如本照片中拱门的门楣上。

Ridderzaal

This area has been the center of Dutch politics for many centuries. The cathedral like building in the inner court yard is called Ridderzaal or Hall of Knights. It was completed in 1280 and used for festival occasions in the history. Only in the 20th century, the Hall of Knights was repaired and became the main venue used for the congress and important meetings. The interior is decorated delicately with nineteen wall hangings bearing the arms of the twelve Dutch provinces and the overseas parts of the Kingdom. The Dutch parliamentary democracy consists of three parts: execution, legislation, and jurisdiction. For legislation, the Dutch parliament is made up of two chambers: the 150-seat, directly-elected lower house (House of Representatives) and the 75-seat upper house (Senate). Both houses traditionally meet in the hall of Ridderzaal on the third Tuesday of September.

几个世纪以来这片区域一直是荷兰政治的中心。 这座内院里的大教堂式建筑被称为 Ridderzaal 或骑士厅。 它于1280年完工,历史上曾用于庆祝节日。 直到20世纪,骑士厅经过修复,成为两院会议以及一些重要会议的场所。 它的内部装饰精美,共有十九个壁挂,上面挂着荷兰十二个省和海外地区的徽章。荷兰的议会民主由三部分组成:行政、立法和司法。 在立法方面,荷兰议会由两院组成:150 个席位的下议院(众议院)和 75 个席位的上议院(参议院)。两院传统上每年 9 月的第三个星期二在这里的大厅举行会议。

At the moment I was standing on the brick paved ground. Behind me, it’s the north wing of the government parliament. It has a beautiful arcade of renaissance style. There is small gate called Stadhouderspoort leading to the outside. It was a beautiful sunny morning in autumn and some Dutch people took bicycles and passed through the gate cozily. In the history, the gate was only available for the chief magistrate (stadholder) and after 1795 it was allowed to be used by everyone.

此刻我正站在内庭砖砌的地面上。在我身后,是政府议会的北翼。 它有个美丽的文艺复兴风格的拱廊。一个名为Stadhouderspoort的小门通向外侧。这是一个阳光明媚的美好秋日早晨,一些荷兰人骑着自行车悠然穿过这座拱门。 历史上,这座城门只供城市的管理者(stadholder)使用,只是1795年后才允许所有民众使用。

Noordeinde Palace

The political system of the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, similar to Great Britain. King acts as the head of state. Noordeinde Palace is one of the three official palaces of the Dutch royal family. It was used as the official workplace of King Willem-Alexander since 2013. The palace originated as a medieval farmhouse, which was converted into a spacious residence in 1533. This neoclassical palace looks modest and simple, hiding among the residential houses and shops. After the restoration in 1984, the Palace became the Dutch Monarch’s workplace and office. When I arrived, the flag at the back of the house was raised. It means that the King was working in the office that day.

荷兰的政治制度是类似于英国的君主立宪制。国王担任国家元首。 Noordeinde Palace是荷兰王室的三个官方宫殿之一。 从2013 年起,威廉-亚历山大国王就用它作为的官方办公场所。这座宫殿起源于中世纪的农舍,1533 年被改建为宽敞的住宅。这座新古典主义的宫殿看起来质朴简单,有种大隐隐于市的味道。 1984年修复后,它成为荷兰君主的工作场所和办公室。当我抵达时,房子后面的旗帜已然升起说明国王这天在办公室里勤政为民。

In front of the palace it is the bronze statue of William I of Orange. This statue was erected in 1845 and designed by a French sculptor. William the prince of Orange was the founder of the House of Orange-Nassau. He played a critical role in the independence of the Netherlands. He organized the Dutch revolt against Spanish rule during the Eighty Years’ War and was assassinated for many times due to this reason. Several members of the Orange-Nassau house reigned the Netherlands Republic as governor or stadholder. After 1815, the Netherlands Republic became a monarchy under the House of Orange-Nassau.

宫殿前是奥朗日威廉一世的铜像。这座雕像由一位法国雕塑家设计建于 1845 年。奥朗日王子威廉是奥朗日-拿骚家族的创始人。他在荷兰的国家独立中发挥了关键作用。在八十年战争期间他曾组织了多次荷兰人反抗西班牙统治的起义,并因此多次被暗杀。奥朗日-拿骚家族的几位成员后来以总督的身份统治着荷兰共和国。1815年后,荷兰共和国成为奥朗日-拿骚家族下的君主制国家。

The Peace Palace

The iconic building in Den Haag is the Peace Palace. It houses the International Court of Justice which is the principal judicial body of the United Nations. In 1903, the American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie donated US$1.5 million to build it. Laterally, an eternal peace flame was installed in front of its gates to reminder people the importance of peace. During the 19th century, the idea of peace flourished in the world. The “First Peace Conference” was hold in Den Haag to call for global disarmament, international jurisdiction and arbitration through the establishment of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and International Court of Justice. The Peace palace was built to house these organizations under the environment. Although it is an UN building, you could still book a tour online to visit the inside.

海牙的标志性建筑当属和平宫。它是联合国的主要司法机构国家法庭的所在地。1903年,美国钢铁大王安德鲁·卡奈基捐资150万美元建造了这座建筑。后来它的大门前安置了永恒的和平火焰,以提醒人们和平的重要性。19世纪,和平理念在世界范围内盛行。 “第一次和平会议”即由此在海牙召开,呼吁通过设立仲裁法院和国际法院,实现全球化裁军、国际管辖和仲裁。 和平宫就是在这种国际环境下建造而成。虽然它是联合国大楼,但仍然可以在线预订游览并参观内部。

Nieuwe Kerk 

In the city center of Den Haag, I could still find some historical buildings although most of items are so modern. The New church is a Dutch Baroque Protestant church built in 1649 after the Great Church was too small to hold so many devotees. The church has an abundance of wood carvings from the 17th century, an oak roof construction and stained glass windows. Maybe because of Protestant belief, the outlook of this church is not like the traditional church, it has a weird hexagon shape instead.

在海牙市中心,尽管如今举目都是现代元素但仍然可以看到一些历史建筑。这座新教堂是一座荷兰巴洛克式新教教堂,建于 1649 年。当时的主教堂太小,无法容纳这么多信徒故此诞生了这座教堂。 教堂装饰有大量的 17 世纪木雕、橡木屋顶和彩色玻璃窗。也许是因为新教的缘故,这座教堂的外观并不像传统的教堂,而是奇怪的六边形。

The grave of Baruch Spinoza

From 1588 to 1672, it was a great period for Netherlands called The Dutch Golden Age. During this period, Dutch trade, science, and art were among the most acclaimed in Europe. The most important Dutch philosopher at that time must be Spinoza. In his book Ethics, Spinoza discusses his beliefs of three kinds of knowledge, the knowledge of experiences, the knowledge involves reasoning plus emotions, and the knowledge of God. His philosophy system is called Spinozism. If I didn’t come here, I would not know that such a great person was buried in this church. The Greek letters on his grave are ‘Terra hic Benedicti de Spinoza in Ecclesia Nova olim sepulti ossa tegit’ which means ‘The earth here covers the bones of Benedictus de Spinoza once buried in the New Church.’

1588 年到 1672 年间,这是属于荷兰的一个伟大时期,被称为荷兰黄金时代。 在这期间,荷兰的贸易、科学和艺术在欧洲广受赞誉的。当时最重要的荷兰哲学家一定是斯宾诺莎。斯宾诺莎在他的《伦理学》一书中讨论了他对三种知识的信仰,即经验知识、涉及推理和情感的知识以及对上帝的认识。他的哲学体系被称为斯宾诺莎主义。如果我不是恰巧路过这里,也就不会知晓这位伟大的哲学家就埋葬在这个教堂里。 他坟墓上的希腊字母是“Terra hic Benedicti de Spinoza in Ecclesia Nova olim sepulti ossa tegit”,意思是“这片土地覆盖了曾经埋葬在新教堂的斯宾诺莎的骸骨。”

Grote of Sint-Jacobskerk

The oldest building in Den Haag must be the Great church built in 13th century. Most of its structure are made of brick. It has a symbolic six-sided high tower up to 93 meter. On the top of the tower, the big bells’ history could be traced back to 17th century. Nowadays this church is not used for religious activities, except for royal baptisms and weddings. Members of the House of Orange-Nassau like King Willem-Alexander and his daughter Princess Catharina-Amalia have been baptized there. It was three o’clock in the afternoon at the moment of my arrival. I still remember that I passed by the church and looked up the brown tower against the blue sky in the autumn. Den Haag is not a city famous of tourism but it will still leave something in my memory.

海牙最古老的建筑当属建于13世纪的大教堂。它的大部分结构都是用砖砌成的并且有一个高达93米的标志性六边形高塔。塔顶大钟的历史可以追溯到17世纪。如今这座教堂除了皇家洗礼和婚礼外,不再用于宗教活动。奥朗日-拿骚家族的成员,如威廉-亚历山大国王和他的女儿凯瑟琳娜-阿玛莉亚公主,都曾在此受洗。时至今日仍然会回味那个秋天的下午三点,我恰好经过大教堂,仰望着蓝天映衬着棕色的塔楼。海牙不是一个以旅游业闻名的城市,但它仍然会在我的记忆中依稀留下一些掠影。

Old City Hall

The city hall today used today is a very modern building which is a bit boring however it’s recommended to visit the Old City Hall which is a Renaissance style building near the Great Church. It is the former seat of the city’s government, and still keeps a place where residents hold wedding ceremonies, and where the Royal family register their family births. On the façade, there is letter ANNO 1565 which means the city hall was built in 1565. The 5 statues on the roof top depict “Faith”, “Hope”, “Love”, “Strength”, and “Justice”. They were made by the Hague sculptor Jan Baptist Xavery before 1742.

如今使用的海牙市政厅是一座非常现代的建筑略显沉闷所以特别建议到大教堂附近的这座文艺复兴风格老市政厅参观。这里曾是市政府所在地,至今仍保留着居民举行婚礼和皇室登记出生的功能。它的正面有ANNO 1565字样,意思是市政厅建于1565年。屋顶上的5尊雕像分别代表了“信仰”、“希望”、“爱”、“力量”和“正义”。 它们由海牙雕塑家 Jan Baptist Xavery 在 1742 年之前陆续制作。

The city center of Den Haag is just a small area for travel. In the afternoon, I wandered around the outskirt of the city. Netherlands has perfect city plans. There are so many public parks and open spaces in the suburb. The life here is more comfortable compared to other crowded metropolis in the world. As we know, New York has a large central park but it only serves better the rich people living around it. The urban design in Netherlands is much better since everyone could easily visit the park which is near their houses and relax themselves fully on the weekend.

海牙市中心只是一个适合旅行的小快区域。下午我乘兴在城郊闲游。荷兰有完美的城市规划。海牙郊区有众多公园和开放空间。与世界上其他拥挤的大都市相比,这里的生活更加舒适令人向往。众所周知,纽约市中心有一个大型的中央公园,但它只是为周围的富人提供更好的服务。荷兰的城市设计则更加完善,每个人都可以轻松地游览自己居所附近的公园并在周末充分放松自己。

Clingendael

Clingendael park is one of the most beautiful park located between The Hague and Wassenaar. Since the sixteenth century, various garden and landscape architects have contributed towards its look and atmosphere. In the 19th century the garden architect Zocher replaced the garden’s original French design by the English landscape style. ‘Clingendael’ is the name of the 17th-century manor house in this picture. It means valley in the dunes. Nowadays the manor houses the Clingendael Institute.

Clingendael 公园是位于海牙和瓦塞纳尔之间的美丽的公园。 自十六世纪以来,各种花园和景观设计师为其景观加砖添瓦。19世纪期间,园林建筑师佐赫以英式景观风格取代了花园原有的法式设计。 “Clingendael”是这张照片中 17 世纪庄园的名称,意为沙丘中的山谷。 如今,庄园内设有 Clingendael 研究所。

This park is extremely spacious. Behind the manor, there is a large playground and field where children play and families enjoy picnics. Large pieces of meadows allow the lambs browsing on grass freely and leisurely. The world in Netherlands is placid and peaceful. I can always discover some wild animals living together with human beings harmoniously.

这个公园非常宽敞。庄园后面有一个大型游乐场和田野,供孩子们玩耍和家庭野餐。小羊们在大片的草地上悠闲自在地觅食,小日子悠哉悠哉。荷兰的生活总体平静祥和,这里总能发现一些与人类和谐相处的野生动物。

This is one street view of Den Haag. There are not so many tourist attractions in this city so I have plenty of time to observe how the local people live. Like other cities in Netherlands, bicycle is one important transportation for them. Also, Dutch people are friendly and can speak English very well. In deed, English is widely used in this country. For tourists, they will not feel difficult when they come here. Although there is nothing special in this city, I think it is still recommended to visit it in a relaxing manner and enjoy one common leisure day in the midst of your rushed trip.

这是海牙一处街景。这个城市并没有那么多旅游景点,所以我有足够的时间来观察当地人的生活。与荷兰其他城市一样,自行车是他们的重要交通工具。 此外,荷兰人也很友好,英语极其流利。英语在这个国家真的是被广泛使用。对于游客来说,来到这里旅游自然不会觉得困难。虽然这座城市并没有什么特别之处,但我认为还是建议在匆忙的旅途中抽空悠闲地游览一番,享受平凡一天的休闲时光。