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The 10 Best museums in The Hague

23 May - 2019
by Vincent Moleveld
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Mauritshuis

The Mauritshuis is home to the Royal Picture Gallery and is an autonomous national museum in The Hague with mainly paintings from the Golden Age. There are also some top works from the 18th century. The relatively small museum has a world-famous collection of 800 paintings in total, which stand out well in the special interior. The architecture of the building has been copied many times. The building on the Hofvijver is the property of the State (Government Real Estate Agency) and is one of the 'Top 100 of the National Heritage Service' from 1990.

Louwman Museum

The Louwman Museum is a museum for historic cars, carriages, and motorcycles in The Hague, on the Leidsestraatweg in a visible location along the N44. The museum was previously known as the National Automobile Museum and the Louwman Collection.

Escher in the Palace

Escher in the Palace is an art museum on Lange Voorhout in the Dutch city of The Hague. It is housed in the Lange Voorhout Palace, which dates from 1764 and has since 2002 housed a permanent exhibition entirely devoted to the work of the Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher.

Panorama Mesdag

Panorama Mesdag is a cylindrical painting of approximately 14 meters high and with a circumference of 120 meters. The painting, one of the oldest 19th-century panoramas in the world, is a view of the North Sea, the dunes, The Hague and Scheveningen. It belongs to the 'Top 100 of the National Service for Monument Care' from 1990.

It was painted in 1881 by Hendrik Willem Mesdag, a famous painter from the Hague School. He specialized in painting seascapes. His wife Sientje Mesdag-van Houten and the artists Théophile de Bock, George Hendrik Breitner and Bernard Blommers also made a significant contribution.

Kunstmuseum The Hague

The Kunstmuseum The Hague is a museum for modern art, arts and crafts, fashion and musical instruments in The Hague. The original name of the museum was 'Haags Gemeentemuseum'. The Modern Art collection of the Kunstmuseum offers an overview of Dutch art since the beginning of the 19th century, supplemented by characteristic examples of art that originated in other countries during the same period. Collecting cores are: The Hague School, Symbolism around 1900, the artists around De Stijl and the Bauhaus and Expressionism.

Madurodam

Madurodam is a Dutch miniature city in The Hague on a scale of 1 to 25, opened on 2 July 1952. This tourist amusement park attracts around 600,000 paying visitors annually. The park covers a total area of 62,630 m². The built city itself measures 17,630 m². It is named after George Maduro, a Curaçao student who distinguished himself as a cavalry officer in the battle of the residence during the May days of 1940 and died in Dachau in February 1945; his parents donated the initial capital for the project, which is considered by the Maduro family as a monument to their only son.

Madurodam gives a picture of a Dutch city and Dutch society through more than 700 models of buildings from all parts of the Netherlands. A hospital and a cemetery are missing. Some models move after a coin is inserted into a coin box. There are also interactive components to which the visitor can contribute, such as closing the Oosterscheldekering or loading containers in the port of Rotterdam. Some sections contain auditory informative explanations about the matters shown.

Museum Beelden aan Zee

The Beelden aan Zee Museum in Scheveningen is the only Dutch museum that deals exclusively with sculpture. It was founded in 1994 by the collector couple Theo Scholten (1927-2005) and Lida Miltenburg (1922). The focus is on modern, contemporary international sculpture, especially after the Second World War. You can see changing exhibitions three or four times a year in the Main Hall. They can be organized thematically, per movement or around the person of an artist.

Since 2003, the museum building also has room for a research institute for modern sculpture, the Sculpture Institute. This research center in the field of sculpture is unique in the Netherlands. It is freely accessible through the main entrance of the museum.

Image of Igor Mitoraj on the Boulevard
Image of Igor Mitoraj on the Boulevard

Museum de Gevangenpoort

The Gevangenpoort is a medieval prison in The Hague. A museum has been housed in the building since 1882. The prison gate was from about 1420 to 1828 the prison of the Hof van Holland, where people who had committed a serious crime ended up. In 1428 Philip the Good made the "front gate of the hove", as the gate was originally called, a state prison. Emperor Charles V built a large detention center at the gate and expanded the courthouse.

The suspects were housed in the prison gate awaiting trial. Torture was applied in accordance with medieval customs, if deemed necessary. Sometimes the prisoners were in a single cell with 15 people. The prisoners had to wait here for their sentence, which consisted of a fine or corporal punishment, such as shame, exile or the death penalty. Detention as a punishment was only applied since the 17th century.

Prison gate with the Groene zoodje on the left. Collection the Gevangenpoort Museum.
Prison gate with the Groene zoodje on the left. Collection the Gevangenpoort Museum.

Omniversum, IMAX Dome Theatre

Omniversum is a large screen movie theater in the west of the Zorgvliet district in The Hague. The screen stands around the audience like a hemisphere and provides a better experience than a flat screen. An advanced sound system produces audible signals but also extra low tones that can be felt in particular. There are 300 seats.

The name Omniversum is composed of 'Omnimax' and 'Universum'. Omnimax is the original name of the film projection system used, which was later renamed IMAX Dome. Universe recalls the astronomical side of the programs that were previously shown. Omniversum's mission is: "Omniversum strives to pass on knowledge about human life, nature and our planet to the public in a special and impressive way, knowledge that is particularly essential for a sustainable society."


Museon

The Museon is a popular science museum in The Hague with collections in the fields of geology, biology, history, archeology, physics, technology and ethnology.

The collection of the Museon has around 273,000 objects. Among other things important are the collection of objects from the Inuit (Eskimos) from Greenland, on which the biologist Niko Tinbergen laid the foundations in 1933, a collection of fabrics from Indonesia and a collection of drawings and objects relating to the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies. Part of the collection comes from the Hague Museum of Education, which was founded in 1909, moved two times (1922 and 1929) before it merged with Museon in 1986.