Saturday 11 August and Sunday 12 August, 11:00-17:00

The Hague city centre

Experience the history of the Netherlands during the Hollands 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 Holland 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, Hofvijver or Paleistuin on the day itself. Children can collect signatures to get a free extra scoop of ice-cream.

Programme 2018

BINNENHOF: SHOWS The Count of Holland

  • 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00. The Closing Parade starts at 16:30.

The spectacular first show will be held at 12:00 at the Binnenhof with the Stadhouder William of Orange, father of the fatherland. The Dutch national anthem, the ‘Wilhelmus’, was written in his honour. It is the oldest national anthem in the world. After that, 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? The admission is free of charge. Listen to the Sprookspreker, the medieval storyteller who was at the wedding of Albert I, Duke of Bavaria 1394 in the Ridderzaal. Look closely at the old school illustration – do you see any differences with the new one?

TIP: While you are there, take one of ProDemos’ guided tours through the Ridderzaal. The Gilde Den Haag is doing guided historical tours. Check ProDemos.nl and GildeDenHaag.nl websites for times and prices.

GEVANGENPOORT, Johan de Witt statue

  • 13:00 and 15:00 Short memorial service

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.

TIP: The murder of the De Witt brothers

A special Johan de Witt tour will be given in the Gevangenpoort Museum, where his brother Cornelis de Witt was imprisoned.

A finger and tongue are kept in the Haags Historisch Museum (Historical Museum of The Hague), which is organising several special short tours.
Check haagshistorischmuseum.nl and gevangenpoort.nl websites for times and prices.

TIP: Prince William V Gallery Museum (next to the Prison Gate Museum)

The last Stadhouder, Prince William V of Orange, father to King William I, loved art more than he loved ruling. He brought his art collection together in his own gallery – the first public museum in the Netherlands. His collection formed the basis of the Mauritshuis: Royal Cabinet of Paintings collection of the Golden Age. Abraham Bredius was director of Mauritshuis for almost 20 years. You can see his own collection in Museum Bredius.

Check galerijprinswillemv.nl, mauritshuis.nl and museumbredius.nl websites for times and prices.

TIP: Outdoor Museum of The Hague

Join the Schilderrijk tour and see where Jan van Goyen and Jan van Steen painted many of their paintings. A historical resident of the house will be present on Sunday 12 August.

Check buitenmuseum.com website for times and prices.


  • 11:00-17:00 Medieval Encampment

The Medieval Encampment was built next to the Hofvijver. Meet Count Dirk here, founder of the County of Holland, and Count Floris and his noblemen. 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.

You can also meet Jacqueline, Duchess of Bavaria and her husband Frank van Borssele, the first Stadhouder of Holland. The Compagnie van Brederode, the company of Brederode castle, will also be there with the Mercenaries. 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. Lady Jolande de Lalaing, who was married to the 9th Lord of Brederode, lived in the Binnenhof as a girl because her father was a Stadhouder.

PALEISTUIN: 11:00-16:00 200 Years of Queens – Royalty from 1815 to today

  • 11:00 Queens’ arrival by carriage
  • 12:00 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 12:00 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’. Put on your best princess clothes!

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!

TIP: Historic transport, check websites for times and prices

– Boat: willemsvaart.nl and ooievaart.nl

– Carriage: from the Hofvijver hollandshistorischfestijn.nl

– Tram: touristtram.nl

HISTORIE-KS Foundation

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 2018 event is made possible by the Municipality of The Hague, the Province of South Holland, Fonds1818 and Foundation Gravin van Bylandt. 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 to get a free extra scoop of ice-cream.

More about the Hollands Historisch Festijn

Hhf2018.nl or hollandshistorischfestijn.nl