The Hague administrator, composer, scholar, poet and designer Constantijn Huygens once wrote about The Hague ‘A village of cities, where every street is a city’.
During a visit to the ‘grande dame’ of our family, she accidentally gave me the topic for this month. To a question to her and to my wife about the ‘little village’ of Nieuwpoort where they had both had such a pleasant childhood, she came up with a completely unexpected answer. ‘This village, as you probably mean to call it, is a city with city rights.’
‘The wonderful The Hague of yours, sorry Peter, is simply a village that calls itself a city but never has city rights has got’. The only thing I could answer with surprise in my voice was: ‘I’ll look into it and get back to it’.
The website of the municipality of The Hague confirmed her story, only slightly more nuanced. I got curious and that’s why, dear sister-in-law and other readers, here’s the true story about ‘The Hague, formerly a village with urban allure’.