Saturday 19 August and Sunday 20 August, 11:00-17:00
]The Hague city centre
Experience the history of The Hague during the Haags Historisch Festijn, which will be held at the Binnenhof, the seat of government; along the Hofvijver; and in the Paleistuin, the palace gardens. The history of The Hague will come to life at the Binnenhof – from the Count of Holland in the 13th century to the Royal Family past and present. The event is suitable for all ages and the locations are free to visit. Pick up a map and information from the Binnenhof, Nutshuis or Paleistuin on the day itself. The map also includes a Machtsspel, a power struggle game, in which you collect signatures to get a free extra scoop of ice-cream.
• 12:00 The Pacification
• 14:00 AND 16:00 The Pacification & the Count of Holland
The spectacular first show will be held at 12:00 at the Binnenhof. In the show we see how Prime Minister Cort van der Linden put an end to more than 100 years of the ‘Struccle for Schools’ (Schoolstrijd) in 1917 and brought about universal suffrage? We also see why Aletta Jacobs and her 100 women were so dissatisfied with this. A year later, in 1918, we see the Prime Minister and Queen Wilhelmina unveil the statue of Johan de Witt at De Plaats, near the Gevangenpoort.
At 14:00 and 16:00, we take a big step back in time to the Binnenhof in the 13th century. We see how Floris V, the Count of Holland, welcomes knights, noblemen, and the Compagnie van Brederode, the company of the Brederode castle, and mercenaries at his castle. They gather together in front of the Ridderzaal – the knight’s hall – to go and fight the King of England. But are all members of the nobility welcome?
Did you know that you can visit the cellar beneath the Ridderzaal on Saturday? The admission is free of charge. While you are there, take one of ProDemos’ guided tours through the Ridderzaal. On Sunday, the Gilde Den Haag is doing guided historical tours. Check ProDemos’ and Gilde Den Haag’s websites for times and prices.
• 12:30 SHOW Unveiling of the Johan de Witt statue in 1918
During the tumultuous stadholder period, the De Witt brothers were murdered by an angry mob. It was 1672, the Rampjaar (‘disaster year’). The statue stands on the site of the murder, which occurred on 20 August 1672. More than 200 years later, in 1918, the brothers were honoured with a statue of the raadspensionaris (‘councillor pensionary’), Johan de Witt. The statue will be unveiled by the then Prime Minister Cort van der Linden and Queen Wilhelmina at 12:30. Around 13:00 on Sunday 20 August, the anniversary of their deaths, the Vrienden van De Witt association and Dutch celebrity, Jort Kelder, will lay a wreath at the statue.
The murder of the De Witt brothers
The murder is depicted in the film Michiel de Ruyter (minimum age 12 years, under the age of 12 only if accompanied by an adult) which will be shown specially this weekend at the Pathé Buitenhof at 17:00. A finger and tongue are kept in the Historical Museum of The Hague, which is organising several special short tours and a lecture by the Prinsenhof conservator, Maurice Wery.
A special Johan de Witt tour will be given in the Gevangenpoort Museum, where his brother Cornelis de Witt was imprisoned.
Check our partners’ website for times and prices.
• 11:00-17:00 Medieval Encampment & Power Game
The Medieval Encampment was set up by the Compagnie van Brederode, the company of the Brederode castle, and mercenaries along the Hofvijver. It was with Van Brederode’s support that the Count was able to wield power. At the Encampment, the soldiers and mercenaries demonstrate their weapons and tell tales about the battles waged by the Compagnie. The nobility too find refuge here. If you listen closely, you will hear more about the plot to kill Count Floris V and why his son, Jantje, died when only 15 years old. Go to the statue of Jantje, play the Power Game (Machtsspel) and solve historical murders. Only return if you dare …
11:00-17:00 200 Years of Queens – Royalty from 1815 to today
• 11:00 Queens’ arrival by carriage
• 13:00 Queens’ Picnic
• 15:00 Festival Princess elections
At 11:00, the eight queens of the last 200 years of Royalty will arrive in a carriage. From Queen Wilhelmine of Prussia to our present Queen Máxima. Come and welcome them! They can tell you everything about their lives in palaces and their kings and princes. This is hungry work so at 13:00 they will have a picnic. Bring some lunch with you and join them. The afternoon is all about princesses. Do you look like one of the princesses? Or a princess from a distant land? Or the sweetest, smartest or any other sort of princess? Are you 13 years old or younger? If so, enter the Festival Princess competition at 15:00 in the Paleistuin. The Paleistuin – the ‘palace garden’ – used to be called the ‘Princessetuin’ or the ‘princess’ garden’. You can enter the competition by filling in the form on the Haags Historisch Festijn website (until 10 August) – you might win a delicious Princess Cake for your birthday!
The Paleistuin is in the Hofkwartier, the historic court area. The Hofkwartier’s local businesses will help make the Festival even more enjoyable. So keep your eyes and ears open as you stroll the narrow streets with their charming shops on the way to the Paleistuin. You’ll definitely come back for more!
• 11:00 – 15:30 Discuss the Struggle for Schools (Schoolstrijd) & Write a Card to the Minister of Education
Discuss the Struggle for Schools with eminent political gentlemen and Aletta Jacobs, who will also, together with 100 women, fight for women’s suffrage at 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00 at the Binnenhof.
Struggle for Schools & A Card to the Minister
In 1848, the politician Thorbecke had the Freedom of Education Act included in the Constitution. At the time, only public schools were financed by the state and the Act was primarily used to set up religious schools. In 1917, the state was required to finance all schools. Since 1917, the Freedom of Education Act means that any schools, even iPad schools or schools without classrooms, can be established. The Act allows for a wide diversity of schools. What kind of school would you like?
Dip pens and ink are ready for use in an old school desk to write a card to today’s Minister of Education!
The Binnenhof has been the seat of power for 800 years, from the counts of Holland to the present day Government. The Haags Historisch Festijn festival is organised by the HISTORIE-KS Foundation whose mission is, together with its partners, to bring archaeology and history to life. The 2017 event is made possible by the Municipality of The Hague, the Province of South Holland, Fonds1818, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and sponsors. Admission to the Binnenhof shows, the medieval encampment along the Hofvijver and meeting the Queens in the Paleistuin are free of charge. Children can collect the signatures of noblemen, knights, archers and queens to get a free extra scoop of ice-cream.