Sunday, March 8, 2015

To the Hague - to see Panorama Mesdag

Four days at my friend Tariq Hashmi's residence in Groningen just flew away and it was finally time to bid farewell to my friend whom I had come to meet after 43 years. I have already shared my travel adventures from Groningen to Amsterdam and Dolfinarium. Now it was time to move on to visit The Hague and Rotterdam on our way to France through Belgium.

Den Haag or The Hagueis the seat of government of the Netherlands. However, it is merely a symbolic or the administrative capital of the country and the home of the court and government, while Amsterdam is the official capital.

The Hague is a historic city and has thus has a vast collection of landmarks and memorials that date back hundreds of years. One comes across many statues and old building, which have now been surrounded by the new construction. It gives an awesome experience to view the history among new buildings, which would become historical in due course of time as well.

Having finally been able to park our car at a place nearest to the Panorama Mesdag, we walked the beautifully decorated streets and shops to reach the museum.

Our final destination in the Hague was the Panorama Mesdag. It is a museum that houses one of the world’s finest, and largest, surviving panoramas. 

It depicts the sea, beach, dunes and fishing village Scheveningen. It is the largest circular canvas in Europe. Panorama Mesdag is an 46-feet-high illusion with a circumference of 395 feet. It was painted by Hendrik Willem Mesdag, his wife and a few friends. It is one of the world’s finest, and largest, surviving panoramas.

The panorama paints the landscape dating back to the year 1880. The painting shows the beach with activity of fishing ships and a military practice taking place. And like all beaches, people are seen enjoying the sun and the water. See remaining parts of the Panorama Mesdag here.

Photo Courtesy Travel with Linda

Unfortunately, due to misguidance and closure of a number of roads leading to the museum, time consumed in parking the car much away from the museum and then walking to it consumed lot of time. And by the time we reached the museum, it had closed, much to our disgust as we had come specially to Hague to see this art masterpiece.

So we got back to see what we could see before leaving for Rotterdam, where our friend Shahid and his wife were waiting for us on the dinner. But we had time to have a photos of the museum which remind us how close we had come to see the panoramic masterpiece.

Tracing back our steps to the place we had parked our car - but not before we had a pleasurable walking in the streets and seeing some of the important buildings and statues before leaving the city.

Standing in front of the Noordeinde Palace, the King’s place of work. The palace complex also includes the Royal Stables, and the palace gardens contain the Royal Archives. It is said that there is always a chance of encountering the King on the streets in The Hague. The is surrounded by the loveliest boutiques and most beautiful galleries. 

My family posing in front of the statue of William I (above). It dates back to 1924. The statue is located in the historic part of The Hague and is illuminated at night. William I was King of the Netherlands from 1772 to 1843.


The Binnenhof is a complex of buildings in the city centre of The Hague, next to the Hofvijver lake. It houses the meeting place of both houses of the States General of the Netherlands, as well as the Ministry of General Affairs and the office of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands.

  Posing with The Binnenhof and Hofvijver lake in the background

Statue of Johan van Oldenbarnevelt (14 September 1547 – 13 May 1619) on the bank of Hofvijver lake opposite to the The Binnenhof. He was a Dutch statesman who played an important role in the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain

We were also to visit the Madurodam Miniature Park, which is an interactive place or the minitaure of the Holland. The park features model replicas of the Netherlands’ landmarks, landscapes, museums, typical Dutch houses, windmills and tulip fields. But due to time wasted in finding the Panorama Mesdag, we had to skip it as Rotterdam was still our next destination of the day.

I will talk of Rotterdam in one of my next posts and a wonderful and delicious dinner which awaited us.

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