The best museums in The HagueOne of the first things many visitors plan to do in any new city is tour its museums. In The Hague, these aren’t your typical stuffy galleries – instead the city’s amazing venues showcase history, art and culture from The Hague itself, as well as from around the Netherlands and even other parts of the world.
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
For modern art – and the largest collection of artwork by Dutch artist Piet Mondrian – head to the magnificent Art Deco Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. Beyond the artwork from Mondrian, which includes the famous Victory Boogie Woogie and much of his earlier work, the Gemeentemuseum displays masterpieces by Picasso, Rietveld and Kandinsky, has period rooms with interiors dating back hundreds of years, and traces the evolution of fashion in Europe and beyond. If you’re with children, the interactive Wonderkamers are an excellent diversion, allowing them to step into the shoes of a museum director during a special game.
A visit to The Hague’s Escher Museum gives visitors a chance to exercise their brains. Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher’s work – inspired by impossible objects and perplexing, sometimes absurd structures - is recognised worldwide. And as well as giving a fascinating insight into Escher’s ground-breaking work, the building itself is a work of art, housed in the formal royal residence, the stately Lange Voorhout Palace.
The Dutch Golden Age helped inspire some of the world’s most magnificent artworks, and its landscapes, still life and genre paintings are still revered as masterpieces today. At the Mauritshuis Museum, located on the Hofvijver close to the Binnenhof, visitors can view the famous Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer (also known as the ‘Mona Lisa of the North’) as well as countless works from Dutch and Flemish Masters such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Frans Hals and Jan Steen. Like other museums in The Hague, the Mauritshuis is a Dutch heritage site, once used as the residence of the count of Nassau.
De Mesdag CollectionHenrik Willem Mesdag created the world-famous Panorama Mesdag in The Hague, but it’s not the only work of his still on display in the city. In fact, there’s an entire museum dedicated to his work and the collection of art he amassed during his life. Featuring works by Mesdag and his artist wife, as well as from painters of The Hague School and the French Barbizon School, the Mesdag Collection is an intoxicating insight into the life and time of painters who worked in the city. The museum also highlights the influence French artists had on Mesdag and his contemporaries.
Historical Museum of The Hague
Learn more about The Hague’s history at this diverse museum, which features a broad collection of artwork and artefacts depicting life in the city throughout the last few centuries. Paintings, royal memorabilia, dollhouses, and even the preserved fingers of the De Witt brothers – 17th century politicians who were assassinated in the city - are on display. Appropriately situated next to the Hofvijver, the Historical Museum of The Hague will satisfy any history buff’s curiosity.
Looking for more than museums to visit? Check out the top sights in The Hague.