What is the Hague?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2019
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The Hague is a city in the Netherlands which has become famous for its involvement in international affairs. Throughout its history, this city has hosted peace conferences along with numerous international organizations. Many international businesses also call The Hague home, thanks to its international climate and easily accessible location. The area is also the administrative seat of the Netherlands, although Amsterdam is the nation's capital.

In Dutch, The Hague is known as Den Haag, and when it is translated into English, a capital T is used. The city was founded in the 1200s by William of Holland, who built a hunting lodge there which later turned into a castle. Although William did not live to enjoy his castle, The Hague came to be used as a seat of administrative government in the Netherlands, hosting a thriving community of legislators, lawyers, and businessmen, among many others.

During the Second World War, the city suffered greatly as a result of occupation and bombing. After the war, the city exploded, experiencing a huge population influx and constructing a number of new buildings. The Hague hosts a number of interesting architectural features, including the remains of William of Holland's palace, and the Peace Palace, a structure financed by Andrew Carnegie in 1913 and used to house administrative offices.


The international community is familiar with The Hague as the headquarters of the International Criminal Court, the International Court of Justice, and a number of other international organizations. It has also hosted a number of investigate tribunals, peace conferences, and treaty meetings, and it continues to warmly welcome the international community and its organizations. This area is also a very good place to do business, housing the headquarters of many Dutch and international firms.

In addition to being an administrative powerhouse, The Hague is also a visually interesting and richly cultural city. The city has numerous museums which display works of art from all over the world, both ancient and modern, and it is possible to see a wide range of musical, theatrical, and dance performances as well. Visitors often enjoy wandering through the city, soaking in the culture of the Netherlands and enjoying one of the world's more diverse cities.


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