History of Lange Voorhout
Lange Voorhout in the 17th century
Lange Voorhout highlights
Field layers with charcoal fragments offer the oldest evidence of human settlement dating from the Middle Bronze Age between 1500 and 1300 BC.
Lange Voorhout in the 13th century
A thousand years after the Roman era Counts of Holland began building close to their first settlement in The Hague and organised field tournaments.
Lange Voorhout in the 15th century
A spur of the Haagse Bos came to be called Lange Voorhout. In 1404 an imposing church was built, the Kloosterkerk, as part of a Dominican monastery. Lange Voorhout gradually acquired its characteristic L shape.
Lange Voorhout in the 16th century
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, visited The Hague in 1536 on the occasion of the ninth chapter of the Order of the Golden Fleece. He commissioned four rows of elms ‘to be set in ’t Voorhout van Den Haghe’. In 1566 the Kloosterkerk was plundered during the iconoclastic turbulence precipitated by the Protestant Reformation. The choir of the Kloosterkerk was used as a gun foundry from 1589 onwards.
Lange Voorhout in the 17th century
In 1617 Prince Maurits supported a forced re-occupation of the Kloosterkerk by counter-remonstrants. As of 1621 the exiled Frederick V of the Palatinate and Elizabeth Stuart Electress consort (aka the Winter King and the Winter Queen) lived at Lange Voorhout. Nine of their children were baptised in the Kloosterkerk. Lange Voorhout became the meeting place of the elite in the Golden Age. A serious diplomatic incident occurred here when the Spanish envoy refused to give precedence to the French envoy’s coach.
Lange Voorhout in the seventeeth century a bird’s eye view, 1614 Jan van Londerseel
Lange Voorhout in the 18th century
Most of the smaller houses were demolished and replaced by imposing premises occupied by the nobility and aristocracy; these are still standing today. In 1747 Stadholder Willem IV and his consort Princess Anna moved to Huis Bentinck, Lange Voorhout 7. The diplomat Henrik baron Hop lived at number 94. He had caramel sweets made which were named after him Haagsche Hopjes
Lange Voorhout in the 19th century
In November 1813 Leopold Count of Limburg Stirum, who lived at Lange Voorhout 19, fought as a member of a triumvirate to establish the monarchy in the Netherlands. The efforts brought King William I of the House of Orange Nassau to the throne. In December 1813 Bashkirs cossacks set up camp on Lange Voorhout days after having been part of a guard of honour at the ‘king’s joyous entry into Amsterdam’.
The king lived in Huis Huguetan, 34 Lange Voorhout, from 1813 to 1817 as a provisional palace. Afterwards Huis Huguetan served as temporary accommodation for his son the Prince of Orange. Various members of the royal family have lived in the patrician house at 74 Lange Voorhout. In 1821 Diligentia concert hall and theatre was established at 5 Lange Voorhout. In 1866 a monument was mounted for Prince Carl Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. The photographer and explorer Alexandrine Tinne, who lived at number 32, was the first to take photographs of Lange Voorhout which she developed in a blacked-out coach. Willem Baron van Brienen van de Groote Lindt sold his palace at 56 Lange Voorhout in 1881 which was radically re-developed as Hotel des Indes. In 1896 the Arts society Pulchri Studio move into 15 Lange Voorhout.
The blacked-out coach
Lange Voorhout in the 20th century
In December 1900 crowds crushed in front of 56 Lange Voorhout to welcome Paul Kruger, president of the South African Republic. In 1901 Queen Emma took up residence in the Palace at 74 Lange Voorhout. In 1912 the Kloosterkerk was saved from demolition. In 1913 Helene Kröller-Müller opened her first museum at 1 Voorhout. On 18 november 1918, cheered by the crowds, Queen Wilhelmina and Princess Juliana rode in their carriage along the Voorhout after Troelstra’s failed atempt at revolution. After the Second World War many of the stately homes were converted into offices. In 1957 the Kloosterkerk reverted to its original form. 1959 saw the opening of the new chancellery of the American embassy designed by Marcel Breuer to the shock of the general public in The Hague. During Queen Juliana’s reign Paleis Lange Voorhout, which had often served as the nerve centre during the forming of governments, was sold and destined to become a museum. During the seventies and eighties of the twentieth century Lange Voorhout began to show signs of delapidation and decay. Its decline resulted in the founding of the Stichting Vrienden van het Lange Voorhout in 1998. The Friends championed the conservation of Lange Voorhout and its enjoyment as a distinctive cultural asset. The society also encourages cultural and other activities that have a positive impact on the climate for residents and visitors.
20th century with Paul Kruger
Lange Voorhout in the 21th century
In 2009 Lange Voorhout was given a face lift. The surface was excavated to a depth of three metres and structures put in place to protect the tree roots. Concrete piles were sunk for the installation of the annual sculpture exhibition. The historic back-to-back benches were re-installed along with 19th century-styled lighting. The golden crowns on the lanterns mark the course of the route of the Golden Coach on its way to the state opening of parliament Prinsesdag in September. The departure of the American chancellery to Wassenaar paved the way for Breuer’s building to become a museum. The construction of the Museum Quarter underground carpark has given better access to Lange Voorhout for residents, users and visitors alike.