Gevangenpoort-EN Prison Gate

Gevangenpoort-EN Prison Gate2018-08-03T16:25:55+00:00

Short commemoration of the murder of the De Witt brothers and the Disaster Year of 1672 at 13:00 and 15:00 on 11 and 12 August at the statue of Johan de Witt next to the Prison Gate Museum, the Gevangenpoort. There will be special tours by the Historical Museum of The Hague and the Prison Gate Museum.

Tour the De Witt brothers

On Saturday and Sunday at 13:15 there will be a special ‘Gebroeders De Witt’ tour and city walk held by the Prison Gate Museum. The sights will include the room where Cornelis de Witt was held prisoner, the place where the brothers were murdered, and Johan de Witt’s house, close by. The tour and lecture costs € 10 and is free for Museum Card holders. Reservations can be made on the Prison Gate Museum website.

There will be a special short ‘Stadhouders/Gebroeders De Witt’ tour in the Historical Museum of The Hague at 14:00. The Museum was the refuge of the Schutterij (citizen militia) that played an important role in the murder. The Museum also has one of the brothers’ fingers and tongues in its collection. You do not need to reserve this tour. It is included in the entry ticket and is free for Museum Card holders. See the website of the Historical Museum of The Hague.

Programme, Map, Timeline & Ice-cream

Pick up an information folder from the Hofvijver or Paleistuin and collect the signatures of someone from the Middle Ages, a noble man or woman, and a queen.

If you get all the signatures, you can get an extra scoop of ice-cream free from Moes the ice-cream man at the Binnenhof or from Gelaterie RIVA at Veenkade 5 near the Paleistuin.


Cornelis and Johan de Witt were gruesomely murdered in 1672, the Disaster Year. Johan de Witt  had been Grand Pensionary of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands for 19 years and had worked on the Act of Seclusion. In an effort to prevent England from exerting influence on the Republic, the Act included an agreement that no-one from the House of Orange would never again be appointed Stadhouder. When England and France attacked the Republic in 1672, many again called for an Orange to rule. Johan de Witt stepped down while his brother, Cornelis de Witt was imprisoned in the Prison Gate Museum for suspicion of plotting to murder an Orange. The brothers died of their wounds while being brought outside and were then hungupside down on the gallows on the Groene Zoodje, the city’s place of execution, and lynched by the people. In 1918, the brothers were honoured with a statue of Johan de Witt