11/12 August



De Sprookspreker’ (the storyteller)

A special still life will be created in the Ridderzaal specially for the Hollands Historisch Festijn.
The still life resembles the old school illustration called ‘De Sprookspreker’ or ‘the storyteller’.
Join the ProDemos tour of the Ridderzaal to see the laid tables with your own eyes.

We have made a new school illustration for this unique still life for all the other visitors.
The old and the new school illustrations are hanging in the cellar of the Ridderzaal (right hand entrance to the Ridderzaal).
The Sprooksprekerwill be there in real life too, reciting poetry and sharing facts just as he used to do hundreds of years ago.

Spot the differences between the old and the new school illustrations!

ProDemos runs TOURS of the Binnenhof.
There are tours of the Binnenhof.
You can then see the still life in the Ridderzaal for yourself!

You can also rent a tablet to see the Binnenhof in 3D and see what it looked like during different periods.
Reserve a place or a tablet here to avoid disappointment!


The Ridderzaal was originally the reception room and ballroom of the Counts of Holland. The ‘De Sprookspreker’ school illustration depicts the wedding of Albert I, Duke of Bavaria and Margareta van Kleef in 1394. The storyteller recites poetry and tells short stories – always with a moral. Duke Albert brought the seat of government to The Hague.

During the time of the Republic, the hall was used for all sorts of other purposes such as for the sale of books, an area to stroll, a market, shopping centre, waiting area for the court, exercise area and even the national lottery draw.

The Ridderzaal is now mostly known for Prinsjesdag on the third Tuesday of September. Literally ‘prince’s day’, this is the day that the budget is presented, Parliament is opened for the new year and the monarch delivers the policy speech. Everyone in the country then knows the plans and activities of the new government for the forthcoming year. The plans by and for the people. This is celebrated during the Prinsjesfestival that starts on 13 September and ends on Prinsjesdag on 18 September.

In 1848, Minister Thorbecke put through changes to the Constitution which made the ministers instead of the King responsible for governing. This is seen as the start of democracy in the Netherlands. In 1919, everyone got the vote – men and women thanks to the efforts of Aletta Jacobs who fought for women’s rights.

Aletta Jacobs
Aletta Jacobs was the driving force behind women’s suffrage. She was the first woman who officially studied at university where she obtained a physician’s degree. Aletta fought for the women’s vote using the argument that she, like men, paid taxes. This was not appreciated and the law was changed specifically to only give men the vote. This was the start of a battle that took years and culminated in women getting the vote in 1919.

The centenary of universal suffrage will be celebrated in 2019