On 25 March 2014 by Daan van Reijn in Homepage

The new future of the oldest part of The Hague.

Wijnhaven. Turfmarkt. Kalvermarkt. Names from a distant past. They remind us of the history of this location, at the heart of The Hague. It is one of the oldest parts of the city. Around 1650, canal boats unloaded their loads here. Indeed: wine, turf, cattle. All this served to provide the counts of Holland and the first citizens of The Hague with food and drink. All that water has now been filled in, and the ships are long gone. Approximately 50 years ago, this location was a somewhat deserted part of the city centre. But look at it now!

Turfmarkt and Nieuwe Kerk between 1890 and 1905

People are residing, working and living here again For a long time, this was an area in which people predominantly worked. As soon as the officials went home, the streets were pretty much empty. It was high time to change all that. After all, a city centre needs to be alive. This is why the end of the last century marked a change of course. The ‘Black Madonna’ was demolished, and the new town hall was constructed. Its architect, Richard Meijer, connected the Turfmarkt to the city again. This effect was strengthened by the construction of the Muzentoren and the new building of the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment. The metamorphosis of this part of the city centre has now accelerated. Examples of this include the construction of De Kroon and the new towers for the Ministry of Safety & Justice and of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, as well as the development of the nearby Grote Marktstraat. The Wijnhavenkwartier will also give a new impulse to the city centre – it is exactly what the city centre needs. Soon, all of The Hague will come together here: young, old, studying, working, enjoying a glass of wine, sitting in the sun on a balcony.