The Hague is described in many different ways. It’s where the International Criminal Court is, so it’s been described as the city of justice. It’s where the official residence of the Royal Family is, so it’s been described as the city of royalty. To me, it seemed to be the city of history.
We only had a few hours in the Hague as we were visiting on a day trip as we travelled between Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Therefore, we planned the day somewhat, and we had decided that we wanted to visit two certain museums, and then just explore the city for the rest of the time we had.
Our first stop was to visit the Mauritshuis, and our main reason was the reason many people visit this museum: to visit the Girl With A Pearl Earring. I’ve seen many reproductions of this painting, but it was so different seeing it in person. The painting was captivating. Her eyes seemed to lock onto mine and I’m not sure I would have been surprised if she were to talk to me. The Girl with a Pearl Earring was fascinating and I could have stayed there for ages.
Alas! Time was getting on, so we finished exploring the Mauritzhuis. We loved the museum; it felt very small and initimate and I felt so at home there, it may have been my favourite museum that we visited over the trip.
Our next stop was to the Prison Gate Museum, a museum focuses on the medieval prison it is housed within and its history. Unfortunately we had to wait as the next English tour wasn’t until that afternoon. To fill the time we decided to visit the Palace. We couldn’t go in, but as The Hague is the Royal city we thought we should at least see it. The Noordeinde Palace was lovely for being a working palace, however, being raised in Britain, I’ve been very fortunate to see many impressive castles and palaces. However, Noordeinde Palace did inspire me to find out more about the Dutch royal family, and I spent the rest of the time before our tour unsuccessfully searching for a book in English about the monarchy. I failed amazingly.
Finally, the time had come for our tour of the medieval prison. After exchanging a silver ticket from our Holland Passes for an actual ticket, we started our tour. Initially it started in one of the cells that would hold multiple people at one time. The cell felt tiny and claustrophobic, and I was so glad when I was allowed to leave it! The rest of the tour was good; it was entertaining and we learnt a lot, even if the guide was annoying.
Realising the time, our historical day in The Hague came to an end, and as we rushed back to the train station to make our train to Rotterdam, I knew that I would miss this city very very much.