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While The Hague isn’t a national capital, it remains one of the most politically important and culturally vibrant cities on the planet. Look past the bureaucrats and businesspeople, and you’ll find plenty of historical appeal. Here are some must-see historical sites in The Hague.
Inner Court and Hall of the Knights (Binnenhof and Ridderzaal)
The Binnenhof complex of buildings sits within the historic center of The Hague. Former aristocratic residences now house the chambers of Parliament and the residence of the prime minister. The 13th-century Knights’ Hall (Ridderzaal) was restored in 1904 and is today used for state receptions.
This palace has served as a royal residence since 1609 when the state gifted it to the widow of William of Orange. It remains a working palace, and while it’s not open to the public, the views from the street are well worth the visit.
This historic 17th-century building, formerly a residence and hotel for elite guests, now houses one of the world’s best collections of 17th- and 18th-century art—some 800 works by a range of artists.
Prison Gate Museum
The Prison Gate Museum occupies a gatehouse that served as a real prison between 1428 and 1828. Visitors can see the old prison and torture chambers while learning the sometimes gruesome details about 17th-century justice.